I had completely caved to clichés. Was it a last-ditch effort, or did I, too, have an axe to grind? We mirrored each other, in ways we could have reduced to one yawning nutshell; life isn’t fair!

Did we stop there? No, instead, we suited up in another layer of shame and guilt for a second round of hanging everything, except our self-righteousness, out to dry. We took the bait and were neck-deep in.

I wanted out. Too bad the momentum that pledging allegiance to condescension perpetuates, makes it nearly impossible to admit wrongdoing, without condemning the other or leaving one’s self completely vulnerable.

 All at once, a brutal image offered the very the word I needed to hear, illusions. Owl silently swooped down and nabbed her prey. Truth was heftier than I had expected.

Just like Owl, I would have to lift my own misconceptions out of the experience and admit that though I felt deceived, more importantly, I had betrayed myself.

Already whiplashed, I tried to hold both this and that together. There was; however, an upside. I recollected an earlier decision to cross through self-proclaimed, sanctified boundaries, to befriend others, any others.

I have always enjoyed diverse gatherings, but this was more intentional. I recalled how that decision often pointed to as many likenesses between others and myself as differences.

If we are not in relationship with people who oppose our thinking, even occasional others, who are unwilling to look beyond their own misguided perceptions of us, we could become part of the same cowardly crowd that once shouted, “Crucify Love”.

If we fail to see the value of sporadic, uncomfortable stimulation, we risk, one day, mindlessly selling entire groups out for a handful of coins or denying knowing the others altogether.

In the days that followed, I sensed Owl there with me as I flipped through volumes of excuses, looking for clues to the fundamental lie.

The first step was admitting that others had mirrored my judgment. My argument no longer mattered. I had allowed myself to get hooked! Soon, the tired clichés ebbed and as I accepted Humility’s invitation, there were fewer words and a recurring flow of Grace.

Sacred Ruminations*