All too often, in my experience, a group gathered together with a common interest will eventually become like high school.
There is a leader. Someone whose opinions are generally regarded as rich Truths.
A large part of the group will jump aboard the Truths and hail them as revelations.
There will be a silent contingent – those who witness, take what they wish, release the rest.
And there will be dissenters – those who have other opinions, other thoughts, and a voice to speak them.
Nearly always the dissenters will be made to feel wrong. Sometimes by those at the top. Often by the great hoards who believe all that the leaders say.
It’s an uncomfortable feeling to be a dissenter – to be a lone voice with a different view – but it is a position I’ve been in before.
My need to follow my heart, to believe what I believe, has always been greater than my need to fit in.
I guess I am a dissenter.
Even though I despise confrontation. Even though in the past it has caused me to be ostracized from a group and an activity that I loved. Even though it pushed me into a weighty depression.
The answer for the dissenter, in my opinion, is to move on. To walk away. To leave the group. To connect more directly with people who are genuine and beautiful. To be a free agent, so to speak.
If you know me, you know it’s not a stretch for me to drop it and move on.
Sometimes, though, there can still be doubt in this methodology. There can still be worry about the consequences and a reluctance to let go.
After all, some of these episodes of leaving have led to the most difficult times in my life.
This week I was reminded again of that dynamic. It took a few hours for me to recognize what it was and a few hours more to see my role, and, more importantly, the needs of my heart.
I knew what I needed to do. I realized that this was a moment for me to claim for my own heart.
Yet I was hesitating. I was resisting.
And deep in that resistance, I sensed a question.
So I listened.
“If I do this, will you still like me?”
I could hear it echo through me, touching those tender places in my heart that long for love and acceptance.
“will you still like me?”
I could feel the power and tremor that lived behind these words.
Tiny me, child me, a million years ago and feeling all alone.
“will you still like me?”
She wanted a hug. She wanted to be told she was not wrong. She wanted to be welcomed and accepted.
My heart busted open. Again.
And in flowed the power and beauty of the butterflies. And the gorgeous supportive messages from other hearts who love me.
It was a thing of wonder.
To watch every bit of doubt dissolve in this one moment of realization.
It all took only a moment. A shocked intake of breath. A sudden flow of understanding. And a huge sigh of relief and release.
Decision made. Exit taken.
No need for sadness, much less the draw of depression.
My heart is lighter today, more full of fun and excitement. My days are easier now, more filled with people I truly care about.
Why tell you this now? Why share this?
You may face similar decisions. You may find yourself in a quagmire that feels like it may pull you under and drown you.
You may, as I did, find a question in the depths of your doubts that gives you all the answers you need.
That question may, as it did for me, give you the butterfly wings to release it so your heart can move forward unimpeded.
Our questions are powerful teachers. Let them be heard. Allow them their voice. Calm them with your loving embrace.
Let your questions be your teachers.
Have you let your questions be your teachers? What were the questions? How have they helped you?