Last month when I was in Costa Rica I got locked on my hotel balcony after dark. Thankfully I had my cell phone on me so I was able to call the front desk. If I didn’t have my phone, who knows how long I would have been trapped out there yelling “ayuda me” to tired groundskeepers that I hoped might see me. This was my first time traveling completely alone, and this was a powerful lesson for me – never trust a balcony. I will never again walk out on a balcony and close the door behind me, without at least checking the lock.
The funny thing is I was certain that the balcony door didn’t lock. It was a fact. I had tried to lock it from the inside more than once the night before, and it DID NOT LOCK. I would have sworn on a stack of bibles that the door didn’t lock. Until it locked me out. My understanding shifted then – the door locks in a way that cannot be tested from turning the knob inside the room. A new fact. Turning the knob from the inside was the wrong test. Another fact.
Then I started thinking how many times we have preconceived notions. Things we believe to be absolutely true, only later to find our facts are not really facts at all. For me, it’s been things like: The justice system is fair. People in jail are criminals. Police uphold the law. All white people have money. Teachers have the best interest of students at heart. Doctors are concerned about patient health. The food supply is safe. Eating meat is healthy. It could also be things like: Walmart is cheaper. Bill Cosby is a family man. Michael Jackson is just a little misunderstood. The list goes on and on.
Do we make wrong assertions because, like the door knob, the test is wrong? As a child I thought there was fairness in the justice system because I was taught that in school. I thought white people had money because it appeared that way on TV. As an adult I know the educational system perpetuates a wide variety of lies and partial truths as does the media and entertainment.
This realization requires more from us – more critical thinking and more analysis. Simply put, more work. That’s why stereotypes are so appealing. Once we believe something to be true, it’s easier to ride it out than reconsider. Who has time for that? We’ve got work to do and bills to pay.
The balcony was a blaring reminder. I can’t assume I know what I think I know. I must always be open with the heart of a student and question the door knob.
I encourage you to question what you’re sure you already know.
Journey with an open heart.
Speak kindly to yourself.
And, keep your cell phone charged. You never know when you’ll need it.
I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!
P.S. The photo is the view from my balcony in Costa Rica. I’m glad I didn’t have to spend the night out there. 🙂 If you’re looking for a chance to recharge, my next Vegan Sister’s Day Retreat, “Soaring into Summer,” is June 6 at the I Am Ascension Temple above Tassili’s Raw Reality here in Atlanta. Check out the details here https://honeybutterflyz.com/spring-day-retreat. Black Vegan Life ™ Fall Retreat for Women Only is December 11-13, 2020 at Elohee Retreat Center. Details and sign up at https://honeybutterflyz.com/fall-retreat.