I remember a conversation I had with someone very dear to me several years ago. He sneezed and I said, “God Bless You”. He was silent for a beat and then said, “OK”. I realized that I had stepped into a space that we had very different connections to. I needed to figure out where we were both coming from if our relationship was to grow.
“OK”, I said. “Clearly, this is a very different moment for you than it is for me. I need you to help me understand so that I can do better”. He started with, “You said God Bless You. Are you afraid I am going to die? Which God do you want to bless me? In my religion there are many. Is there one in particular that you are calling on? Will you follow this up with a sacrifice or offering to this God you are calling on?”
I quickly stepped back from my intentions and put myself into his. I started to apologize but he countered with no apology needed. He knew right away my words came from a place of love and was not offended or put off by what I said. He only took me deeper into the center his meaning because I asked. He was perfectly fine bending to my center. Once he realized my intention, he was willing to become more vulnerable with me and open himself up to share from his center.
That conversation changed me deeply. My path is my path. Your path is your path. I cannot pull you into my truth but walk in honor when our paths cross and be grateful for the additional insight that experience brings.