The list of people in my life (or who, more accurately WERE in my life) who hurt me and my family by using hateful remarks, posting misinformation and bigoted memes on social media, or worse, forward those same “helpful” gems to me and my husband via email, is a ridiculously long list. And the volume of crap that has been said/written/posted that truly hurts us to our cores is pretty substantial and would leave me with enough material to write about for at least another century. You know, if I chose to wallow in pain and past and the sins of others. Occasionally, I have done this and let’s face it:  Blogging is far less expensive than therapy at $350 per session. But I’m trying to not make this blog just another “bitch session” about family or those who I thought were my friends in some giant passive-aggressive public forum for lambasting those who are inconsiderate or rude or “holier-than-I.”

Instead, I’m cutting caustic relationships from my life. That does not mean that I hate these people. Hate is an emotion that would simply eat up too much of my time and energy. It means that I “nothing them” and will no longer allow them any place of value in my head or heart. I have tried to “bring them around” to the tolerant side of humanity but now that I have a headache from banging my forehead into that proverbial brick wall, I’m done. “Cling to your convictions of judging others and damning those of us who think or believe or look or worship or live differently from you! I’ll just go on doing what I do and thinking and believing and looking and worshiping and living differently and ya know what? I’ll still be happy. Happier in fact, because I ACCEPT that we are never going to agree and I’ve let go,” I shout now from the rooftops of this blog (but without all caps because that’s just annoying.)

I have no prejudices against religions. I grew up Catholic. Most of my family still is Catholic. Some are various forms of Protestant- Methodist, Presbytarian, Unitarian, Evangelical, Nazarene, Baptist, and whatever else is under the sun. (I have a huge family.) I have friends who fall under all of these groups and more. I have Jewish friends, Buddhist friends, Wiccan friends, Atheist friends and Agnostic friends. The key to my getting along with all of these friends and family is the operative words FRIEND. The ones who judge me the most are the family members who are Christian. This is NOT a slight against Christianity. Absolutely not. I have no problems with Christianity. I have many friends who ARE both Christian and Family members. But those loudmouth rude people who claim to speak on behalf of all Christendom by interchangeably using the word Terrorist with Muslim and slamming ethnic/religious groups specifically those who are REFUGEES (that means people who don’t really want to leave their own homelands but don’t have a choice because they fear for the lives and safety of their children and selves) and claiming that they are attempting to take over the world and force them into Islam?????? What is WRONG with you? Do you honestly believe that my Syrian sister who is now widowed and hiding in rubble in her city with her 4 children and WALKS thousands of miles over the course of months or maybe even years to get to a bordering country and then has to sell her belongings, borrow, beg, plead in order to be smuggled across it and continue this journey to a European country and then wait for months on a list to get asylum in order to be brought to the U.S, fearful that her children will be separated from her or worse once she arrives here… seriously intent on forcing anyone to become Muslim by force and take over our country?????!

I’ll just let that silliness go right there because you cannot argue with crazy.

Here’s where I tell those of you who are Christian and Buddhist and Jewish and Wiccan and Agnostic and Muslim and Atheist and still not really sure THANK YOU. Thank you for accepting me and my family as we are for who we are. Complete with the flaws and imperfections that design humanity. Thank you for loving us and allowing us to love you. Thank you for defending our rights granted by the same Constitution and Bill of Rights that grant you yours. Thank you for tolerating that which you do not always understand or even agree with. Thank you for continuing to hold doors open and wave your appreciation when I let you merge in front of me when the lane on the freeway you are in is blocked. Thank you for asking about my kids and sending graduation cards and appreciating my asking about your sick child in the hospital or about how your new business is doing. Thank you for allowing me to just be me without all the conditional love and acceptance that is sometimes attached to hidden agendas in relationships. Thank you for your tolerance. Thank you for continuing to teach me to keep living my beliefs, my faith.


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