by Jan on December 28, 2023

It was almost closing time when struggling to get my card out of my wallet, I walked in. The attendant looked deeply into my eyes with concern and asked, “Where do you want to go, hon?” I replied, “I just need to get some vegetables.” She gave me a doubtful look. It appears I had entered the wrong door at our Costco here in Redding, California, and hand to head I proclaimed, “Duh,” and reentered at the Entrance.

Midway into my shopping, I realized what I must have looked like to her. Home, I had stepped into my old snow boots but had not taken off my Christmas pajamas yet, put my new big lumpy wool sweater on, which by the way looks fabulous with the right garb, and behind old, scratched glasses I had smudged off my makeup. It was late and I just wanted those vegetables.

There is a large homeless population in our neighborhood. I think she assumed that’s the tribe I had wandered in from. She was just doing her job and when I got home and looked in the mirror, I would have made the same assumption. I pondered then asked myself, how many times do I make these snap judgements about the character and quality of one’s life by what they look like?

Crap. I do it a lot and find nine times out of ten I am dead wrong. As I continue to disentangle my soul from my upbringing that whispers critical voices that are meant to be heard, I have uncovered the erroneous message that I was born, bred, and raised to believe I am better than you. I am not.

And while entertaining those thoughts might make me feel better about who I am in this world, they drive me deeper into an apartness from that fundamental need for connection I so desperately long for.

The difference is, now I see it. And when those thoughts pop in my mind, I practice saying to myself, “That may or may not be true. And what business is it of yours anyway.” On repeat, every day, in line at the grocery store, at the gym, the guy in the car next to me, or that woman sitting alone at the theater.

The fact is we all swim in the pool of Human and have been created equally by a Creator who has an immeasurable acceptance and love for every single one of us. Of this I remind myself.

Then I buy myself some green beans.

Assumption: “Something that you accept as true without question or proof.”

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