Lots happened in my day today.
I caught up with a gorgeous woman and her 18 month old son over coffee (and received a fabulous bottle of champers as a belated housewarming gift!).
Spent an hour with a fine selection of my circle of women.
Spent another hour with my daughter for her orientation into 4yo kinda.
I also indulged with my beloved on espresso, pastry and sweet goodness.
Lost almost three hours in the depths of one of my favourite bookstores.
Found the perfect gift for a nearly 3yo very close to my heart.
Made vegetable stock concentrate in the TMX and
watched way too many Alias re-runs on an unnaturally large screen in my living room.
I am immensely grateful for all of these activities in my day, for a myriad of reasons, but one thing happened today that really stood out to me. One thing that really settled into my heart, on how grateful I was for this encounter.
I'll elaborate *smile*.
It happened, quite organically as these things often do, during the hour I spent with my women-folk. The conversation moseyed around sex, historical feminist figures, child raising (all fairly standard issue in our circle). And then it turned to religion.
One of our women was sharing her very personal journey, thoughts and feelings on investigating a return into the fold of Christianity. Now, when you get a room filled with intelligent, confident, respectful, thoughtful and secure-in-their standing people, and a topic like religion is raised, the conversation is bound to be excited!
Which is exactly what happened.
In that mix of women today (if you could please forgive the labeling about to occur), sat our woman currently investigating her belief system (who acknowledges a former Christian belief), a Theosophist-cum-Pagan/Wiccan, a secure and contented Christian, a former Muslim and V (I didn't quite catch where V stood on the spectrum).
Now, the thing I'm grateful for?
Not once in that outspoken conversation was anyone belittled.
Not once in that passionate conversation was anyone discredited.
Not once in that opinionated conversation was anyone argumentative or self-rightous.
Not once in that conversation was anyone bigoted.
Freedom of speech, while often touted, is rarely met without defensiveness or judgement.
As pack animals by nature, any differences in opinion held by those in our vicinity tends to bring up feelings of fear. We often need to be validated in our thoughts and actions by those around us, in order to feel safe, on the right track, confident of our spot within the safety of community.
I find it is a rare person that is so secure in their beliefs, that they sit comfortably in earshot of someone sharing a different belief. That they do not feel the need to convince or condemn - vocally or even in thought. And while I do not know the thoughts of the women I was conversing with today, the energy in the room was one of openness, of respect, of curiosity, of harmony.
And it was just lovely *smile*.
Thank you sweet women. For a most wondrous moment in my day.
And because a post isn't complete without some visual delight - allow me!
A nutritional therapist's daughter that one! *laugh*
Always drawn to the easel.
The improved fine-motor skill dexterity and increase in concentration span is awesome.