“Can we lose the best of ourselves when we focus too much on trying to not offend anyone?”
This is what I asked on Facebook yesterday. Based on the 21 comments it received in its first 2 hours, the question may have struck a nerve for a few people.
But what was I talking about? Something must have spurred me to ask the question.
Sure it did, but my thoughts and the back story are longer and more complex than a Facebook discussion could easily hold.
And so a new blog post was born.
Let me begin with some details you may or may not know.
Part of my intention on social media channels, and in life in general, is to be supportive and loving to others. Sometimes based on an intuitive nudge, often as a response to a difficult situation they have mentioned.
My go-to expression of support is, of course, to send butterflies.
Sometimes I am specific about who the butterflies are for:
…healing butterflies for the loved one going into surgery, calming butterflies for the family and loved ones waiting on her and calm, confident and alert butterflies for the medical team performing her procedure.
Sometimes I am specific about the type of butterflies:
…shimmering orange butterflies so you remember how amazing you are and the job interviewers find you irresistible.
Sometimes they are more generally supportive, especially when I know the person receiving them is not really in the know about my butterflies:
…sending butterflies and hugs…
But the question remains: Why send butterflies? Why not pray or something else?
My reason is simple. I know butterflies. My relationship with them creates the most powerful transmission of love and healing that I can generate.
Butterflies are my richest blessing.
Is sending butterflies like praying? Definitely. It’s a lot like praying – connecting with the Divine with loving intention.
Is sending butterflies energy work? In fact, yes, the butterflies are super helpful with making space for energy.
Is sending butterflies like sending healing light or positive vibes? Absolutely. My energetic butterflies are composed entirely of healing light and positive intentions.
Is sending butterflies like Reiki? While I have not been taught the ways of Reiki, my understanding of its healing principles tells me, that, yes, I think it is.
In fact, sending butterflies is like shorthand for saying “may all the energy and light of the Divine that you need arrive just as you need it and may it help you to also release all the difficulties of this moment”.
When I think of all of these practices – prayer, energy work, Reiki, positive vibes, butterflies – I see them now as the expression of the Divine within us. Perhaps the Divine in you would rather play drums, while the Divine in another lights candles, and yet another practices magic.
Each of these is the Divine awakened in you. Each of these is just as sacred as the next.
So here is where the question came from.
Over my many years of connecting online, I’ve been active in a lot of groups and forums. People being the human creatures we are, frequently ask for support in difficult times.
Since I want to be supportive, I send butterflies.
Yet, butterflies are not always welcomed.
In some cases, I have been scolded for not praying when prayer was asked for.
I have occasionally been asked to not send butterflies in a group, or to provide only the type of support that people are asking for.
So be it. As a rule follower, if I am in a group I follow its rules, usually to the letter. If I disagree with the rules, I may decide the group is not for me.
In some cases I’ve stayed in the group and silently sent butterflies, while staying active in the group in other ways. Sometimes when I know the person who is asking for support, I’ll send them butterflies in a private message, or in my own butterfly group.
After I have grown tired of having to withhold butterflies I’d like to send, I will usually quietly leave, butterflies and all.
These request to respect another person’s beliefs made me wonder. What is the most effective way to offer support to someone?
We each have our own way of energetically supporting others, our own expression of the Divine. This is one of the beautiful things about our differences: look at how many options we each have!
Do we gain more by only receiving the support with which we are most familiar? Or could it be that when others send us their most familiar support that the energy is even more powerful? Is it possible that receiving more than one type of energetic support at once could bring us more healing, more gifts and more love?
I know I didn’t always see it this way. There was a time for a few years when I held enough bitterness towards the church that I never wanted anyone to pray for me or anyone I loved.
Mellowed over time, and through my own spiritual awakening, that bitterness has dissolved and I now see that prayer is as much an expression of the Divine as all of the others. I’m so grateful I can see this now!
Here’s where my question came in:
I do think we can lose the best of ourselves if we spend too much energy on not offending anyone.
What am I without my butterflies? Not nearly as alive, as vibrant, as healing, as amazing.
Should I hide my butterflies because someone else doesn’t get them? Or because someone else would rather share chanting or animal totems?
I think not! Just as I think they should not hide their chants or totems.
We all need the Divine and we need to see more of her any chance we get. That amazingness in you? That’s the Divine. I want to see yours. And I want you to see mine.
If we took all of our different ways we support each other, all those little bits of the Divine we bring to each other, brought them all together and gave it a good shake, we may just get a glimpse of how amazing the Divine really is.
That Divine in you is just one facet of the immeasurable greatness that permeates our existence. With all these facets surrounding us and supporting us, we can only grow stronger and more loving.
Show me your Divine. And I’ll show you mine!
How does the Divine express herself through you? What is your amazingness and how do you share it?