Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘acceptance of differences’

Barilla Out/Bertolli In

This website is about deepening our understanding about human emotions especially dealing with grief and loss. The topic of loss comes in many forms. An important one is the loss people experience from a lack of respect from others due to their lifestyle. We are, after all, created by the same Universal Energy of pure love. This site is about trying to make the world a better place one person, one blog, at a time. Rarely do I enter into current events unless my heart moves me to do so- and it did today.

Guido Barilla, chairman of the world’s leading pasta manufacture on Wednesday stated, “I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don’t agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role.” Why am I having a hard time accepting his explanation? The latest add for his company features Antonio Banderas baking biscuits (it seems there are 15 different brands and products made by the Barilla company) and talking to children about a chicken called Rosita. It was MR. Banderas who was featured in the add – but didn’t Barilla argue his point by saying ‘women play a fundamental role? Mr. Barilla also said he opposes adoption by gay parents. Ah…the real issue surfaces. No question where he stands on the topic of respect and equal rights. After a firestorm on social media sites, Barilla responded, “I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding…” His words ring both hollow and insincere. Notice he didn’t apologize for being discriminatory but simply of “generating controversy” sounds like he is worried about the bottom line – money – and his PR folks were probably pleading with him, on bended knee, to recant his words. Mr. Barilla I think, ‘ thou protests too much!’ One just has to wonder why.

Misunderstanding really? Mr Barilla there is no ‘misunderstanding.’ Your comments were judgmental, offensive and lacked the integrity needed for a leader of a major company. You have a right to your own extremely limited perception but NOT as a CEO of a major company you inherited from your father which employs over 13,000 people. I wonder how some of your employees who are, no doubt gay, feel working for a company that promotes such discrimination. Do they have to hide in the shadow hoping not to be discovered and fired due to your stance? You made yourself both sadly and perfectly clear. Your comments were not a simple misunderstanding but a hateful and judgmental attack. You might want to contemplate on the statement, ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged.’

Now it is up to us, as consumers, to stand up and be counted. There is no place in my world that can accept a company that promotes discrimination, that includes Chic-fil-A and any other company that promotes division and discrimination among people. I accept the suggestion from Mr. Barilla that if his words upset me, simply do not eat his pasta – actually I could no longer stomach it. With each bite his comments would ring in my ear. Now let’s see if his 5.4 billion in net sales with be likewise effected. It’s up to us to decide.

It is good to know that alternatives exist. For instance, Bertolli, another Italian pasta maker company is NOT discriminatory and chose to feature a commercial highlighting a gay couple back in 2008! Imagine that! The character of this CEO and his company speaks volumes. They now have me as a permanent customer. I’m putting the intention out there that over the next year or so Bertolli will increase their sales by 40% because of both the integrity of their company and the quality of their product.

There is no room for discrimination, judgment or hateful comments in my world. Not now – not ever. Mr. Barilla will reap what he sows. That’s just how the Universe works.

Please forward this blog on to your friends and family. Information is a powerful thing. Let’s give others the chance to make a difference – an informed choice – so everyone can be accepted and treated with respect.

Have a great few days!

Accepting the Uniqueness of Others

Did you know that due to the density of pure ice only 1/9th of an iceberg is above water? It puts in perspective the saying ‘that’s only the tip of the iceberg’ doesn’t it? Icebergs and people have a great deal in common. Each is totally unique both above and below the surface. Most importantly, what we see on the surface is but a small part of who they are deep down on the inside.

As people, our differences are huge. Culturally, ethnically, birth order, family background, our physical and emotional issues and other life experiences are just a few of the significant variances that add up to what is beneath our surface. Yet, how many times do we know or even stop to wonder ‘from whence a person comes’ before making a decision – judgment even about them? As we move at the speed of light to get our laundry list of ‘to do’s’ done in any given day we rarely, if ever, stop and think about the other 8/9th of the person – the rocks they are carrying, invisibly, in their backpacks. We may wonder in frustration WHY are they acting like this? Therein lies the opportunity for us to take a deep breath and remember…

Everyone has their own unique story, their own lessons in life. Some have chosen paths of great challenge and are barely hanging on just to get through another day. Yet, on the surface, we may have no idea of their issues and we question their behavior… It is good to remember that although our paths are totally different we are all struggling to get by and make sense of our life experience.

Luckily, the similarities in people are not as complex. Love, acceptance and understanding are needs we all have in common. We are all learning about ourselves and the world one step at a time. There are no short cuts to finally getting to the ‘Aha’ in life. It is, indeed, a rigorous journey – not for the faint of heart. But, survive – even thrive we will. Our road is significantly less difficult when we feel recognized for the value of who we are and allowed our idiosyncrasies to surface without judgment.

We are, after all, simply children of this magnificent Universe who are motivated to make the world a little better place by having been in it.

Have a great few days!

Unlocking Your Potential

To learn to live in unconditional love is the reason we are experiencing life in this incarnation. To achieve this type of love we need to be able to truly accept, understand and appreciate ourselves and others. When you think about it, that’s a tall order. It means not only being totally comfortable in our own skin but to allow others to be comfortable in theirs as well. How is this possible to achieve? When we accept that we all have more in common than we may first think, it opens up our thinking.

1. We are all motivated by acceptance and love
2. We all experience fear from time to time.
3. We have all chosen this lifetime to live through our unique life challenges.
4. Most importantly, we share the same source of our existence.

When we accept these commonalities, it allows us to see ourselves and others through different lenses. It may take an entire lifetime to realize that learning to love yourself and others in a nonjudgmental way is the most important thing we can do. That’s okay. It is a huge lesson.

What opinions do you have about your life experiences to date? We have all lived through tough times and life altering experiences, many in fact, that took our breath away with the pain. Trust me on this one, no one goes through life unscathed.

The question is can we regroup and as the lyrics of the song go, ‘pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.’ Or are we in the blame game, angry that life happened to us when we weren’t expecting it. Anger, blame and fear are debilitating and the direct opposite of unconditional love.

Challenge yourself to examine a life altering experience that appeared so unfair to find the lesson in it. It will necessitate that you stop thinking about the ‘what if’ or ‘why me’ and analyze it from the perspective of what was the most difficult thing to accept from it. There is the lesson, staring you right in the face. Every experience offers us a chance to grow from it as we embrace ourselves and others with unconditional love and faith in tomorrow.

Everything happens for a reason – a purpose. If you find yourself in a negative mindset at first, thinking ‘why me’ just give yourself a little time for the rawness of the hurt to pass. You are a spiritual being, true, but you have both the gift and burden of living this spirituality in a human form with human emotions. Just don’t let yourself get stuck. Talk to a friend, family member or counselor to help yourself regain your footing. Think to yourself, ‘I know there was a purpose for … and I will seek to understand and learn from it.

Unconditional love is the way to unlock our true potential. After all, our thoughts truly are our keys to life. Positive thoughts open doors and negative thoughts close them. We are each on our own individual path to knowing a higher truth and embracing unconditional love. When we believe this, it lets us take a deep breath and ‘allow’ the experiences to help us become better human beings. We then remember with gratitude “All is as it should be.”

Have a great few days!

A Mother’s Love

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! To some, this gift has been cut short and it makes this holiday, in particular, a difficult one to get through. If you know of someone who has lost a child regardless of their age, or how long ago it was, please take a moment to call, email or simply say a little prayer for them. Healing takes time – sometimes an entire lifetime.

In my blog last Wednesday I thanked President Obama for taking the stand he did on same sex marriage. I want to thank you for your PHENOMENAL response! Your emails and calls saying, “I agree with you” were appreciated. I would encourage you to make your own voice known on the topic to someone. It is both important and courageous to speak from your heart. It gives others ideas that may differ from their own. The world is changed for the better – often, one person at a time.

It is hard to understand a different perspective when you are surrounded with thinking that simply reflects your own opinion. When we seek diverse material, books, and people it gives us food for thought and expands our understanding of the world. Who have you listened to this week that gave you a different perspective to consider?

We will know we have become the great county we have the potential to be when we move from tolerance and acceptance to recognition, honor and love for all of our fellow human beings, regardless of their skin color, cultural background, sexual orientation or belief system.

My son, from the other side, has told me in my book, Just Behind the Door, “Life can be its own gift or its own undoing. It all revolves around developing one’s consciousness about ourselves and how unconditional love allows the communication from our loved ones to continue forever.” There is that thought again, unconditional love, it is what we are all here to learn.

The current events in our world can be mind-boggling . The lessons I have learned in my 40 plus years of study on spiritualism helps me peal away the layers of misunderstanding and judgment to reveal their significance and truth. We are all part of God/Universal Energy. We all deserve to be recognized as such.

It is said that there is no greater love than the love a mother has for her child. Let’s try to tap into that love this week and practice acceptance of all people who are working to develop their own expanded consciousness in this classroom called life.