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One Subject Can Spark Division

For so many years, I wanted to be famous. I dreamed about having fame, fortune, and praise. To be honest, I just wanted the praise. I had pretty low self-esteem growing up, and the popular kids didn't help.

In the age of social media, when anyone can publish what they want, we're often subjected to scrutiny. We get back-handed comments from haters who don't know us. We hear outrage from people who don't understand us. Rather than seek to understand, we just cancel others.

After all, it's easier to walk around thinking you're right than seeing different sides of a situation. That way you never have to change your attitude. You just close more people off and stay in your echo chamber.

I read and respond to all of the comments on my Insight Timer meditations. I respect people's feedback about any issues they might have had with the meditation. Some aren't that great, I admit, and I need to go back and fix them. But honestly, my heart is in the right place.

However, I don't quite know how to respond to a specific type of comment because it pertains to the subject itself. It hits me right into the heart. There's a part of me that wants to apologize, but then that's not being very authentic. I'm not sorry that you didn't like my content. I'm sorry you don't like the subject of my meditation.

What is this subject that's so controversial? No, it's not abortion. It's not gun control. It's not immigration or global warming. It's Christ.

Whether you believe Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah or a great prophet or another incarnation of Vishnu, the name Jesus Christ seems to sear the heads and hearts of so many people.

cross overlooking Sea of Galilee

Although I'm a devout Catholic, I revere what's holy in other religions. I love reading Buddhist, Sufi and Hindu texts. The Tao Te Ching has some of the best wisdom I've ever known. I don't get put off when I hear of someone calling God by another name.

Why is it with Christ? Am I supposed to put a trigger warning on all of my meditations from now on? WARNING: Some words in this meditation include references to Christ.

Granted, I know many people have been hurt by pastors and priests from Christian denominations--not just Catholic ones. I could completely understand how that would spark some traumatic memories.

But the bitterness in the comments I receive tell me something different. How do I respond to their bitterness in a way that's compassionate yet not trite? I don't want to fall into the rhetoric that turns even me off, but I also don't want to be snarky either (even though I want to be. I'm still a work in progress, too).

I also don't want to be lumped into the bad examples of Christians that are popular today. I find it incredibly offensive that the MyPillow guy wears a cross pin on his jacket and uses a cross in his online "news program" logo. I feel it's sacrilegious that he has a painting of Jesus with a crown of thorns paired with a lion.

Yet he and I believe in the same Christ. I guess we interpret and echo Christ's teachings a little differently.

It pains me to see so many people turned off Christ because of so many bad examples. The bad examples make other people blind to the good work many Christians do not only in the United States but also the world.

The marketing pros and social media influencers will say to study your analytics. See what other people like and produce more of it. If everyone heeded that advice, there would be nothing authentic to people's hearts. If I wanted to be popular like I did when I was a kid, I'd produce more of the stuff that sells on Insight Timer and other platforms.

But that's not very Christ-like, is it? Jesus spoke truth, no matter how unpopular that was. Buddha and so many other leaders weren't afraid to speak truth when it made people feel uncomfortable.

"The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth." M. Gandhi. The Story of My Experiments with Truth (p. 5). Kindle Edition.

I'm not going to give up Christ so I can get more likes, followers, or plays. It's not my intention to spark more division, but to remain rooted in Truth whatever name Truth chooses.

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