Here I Stand

My mom always told me I was a lousy Jew; her claim was based on her observation of me dating Christian men, as well as men of other nationalities. I carried this curse for many years, until my mid-thirties when I asked my father what it meant to be a good Jew. His response was quite simple, "Do Unto Others". In that moment, I undid the curse, knowing I could be a good Jew.
 
What I had not learned from my parents was how to be a good Jew. There were plenty of right wrong conversations, as if doing ABC was good, and therefore I could be considered good, while doing XYZ was bad, and I would be considered bad. Course the lines between good and bad got schmooshed because in many instances my choices were good or better for me, which my parents categorized as bad (for them). This disparity between views created a lot of stress for all of us. I could not be what they wanted; yet in my mind, I was practicing do unto others. 
 
What I have tried to do since I was a kid is somehow incorporate the messages I've seen, heard, and read in ways that I believed would improve my behavior, making me a better person. I have not always been successful in this venture, but I never give up, because doing unto others, as you would have others do unto you is a great foundation upon which to stand.
 
I've also noticed that being a good person has nothing to do with religious rituals or customs. What the phrase taught me was the link between a spiritual journey and a religious one. The religious part of my life seemed extraneous to what mattered most, which was to be good and decent.
 
Doing Unto Others... requires observing and correcting your thoughts, speech and action so that your outcomes line up with your stance. Some days we fall off the wagon, but since our intention is clear, we brush ourselves off, clean up our act and get back on the road.
 
This week reconnect with your foundational phrase that serves as your guiding light. If you don't have a foundational phrase, call me so I can help you clarify what matters. If you have fallen off the wagon and are experiencing difficulty getting back on, don't wait another second to call me.

Posted on October 15, 2013 and filed under October 2013.