Not having a lot of energy for running around in the world gives me time for introspection. Not the most fun always. I have realized that for a great deal of my life I pretty much considered myself to be the smartest person in the room. That illusion led to my believing that my personal preferences should be the general rule for all human beings. Wow! That's crazy.
I am grateful that I've found out I'm not always the smartest person in the room - in fact I rarely am. I have a lot of talent with language which can make me seem smart but that's far from making me a genius!
I'm also grateful to realize that personal preferences are just personal to each person - that what I prefer has no connection whatever to good vs. bad or right vs. wrong. I just happen to love the color blue, dragons, and simplicity in decoration. I just happen to prefer wearing black a lot because it makes me look less fat and it goes with everything else.
I used to think that people who decorated with lots of brown and lots of furniture and do-dads were just plumb crazy. They would be so much happier in the peaceful space of simplicity. (They probably would think my personal preference created a "cold" environment.) I thought people who dressed in bright colors and lots of variety were spending too much of their precious time on dressing themselves and were frivolous. (What if I'm just too lazy to care?)
I prefer to wash all my laundry in cold water because it saves wear and tear and fading. I only use half of a dryer sheet at a time, because I found out that's all that's needed. I only put half as much dishwasher detergent in and my dishes are pretty clean. All that seems kind of insignificant now but I used to feel pretty self-righteous about it. I was saving money and the environment. Uh...not so much that everyone "should" follow my example.
Now I've begun to understand that I was chasing after being "right" which made me feel a little less down on myself. Thanks to my spiritual mentors, I've learned how to let go of my heavy self-criticism which in turn has helped me recognize the difference between personal preference and general rules.
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