I am an active member of a spiritual community. I have been in this community for a long time, and have always considered myself a valuable member. Others in the community treat me with respect and kindness. Lately, however, there has been a change. A new member of the Board of Directors seems to be prejudiced about my weight. (I am a full-figured woman and proud of it.) Since her arrival, I have been the recipient of snarky comments about my weight, from her as well as other members of the community. I have responded to the comments as kindly and consciously as I can, but it’s starting to wear on me. I am feeling less and less welcome in my community. Help!
I’m so sorry to hear of your situation! It is very unfortunate that there is such prejudice and bias in spiritual communities. I guess wherever there are humans, there are people still growing their consciousness.
This is a tender thing to say, but whenever I experience such criticism or a feeling of rejection, I ask myself how it is a reflection of my own inner voices. Do you have some inner voice that rejects you for your weight? Do you feel proud (and yay for that) through and through? Or might there be residual shame or feeling of inadequacy. Please know that I am not accusing you here, only telling you what I do when I experience such a situation.
For myself, when I receive such a comment, I assume that this criticism from someone else is somehow alive in me. Even if it’s an old story and one I don’t consciously have awareness of anymore. This sort of externally inspired searching for the remnants of self-rejection has supported me in my own journey of self-healing countless times. It’s like a free workshop! Oh joy. So that’s where I would start.
This is not to say that the gossip doesn’t still sting! It never feels good (or maybe I just haven’t done enough work on myself yet?) to have people say bad things about us…to gossip negatively about us. It causes emotional harm, every time. This is a good thing to keep in mind whenever we’re tempted to gossip about others.
But it is also good to keep in mind that this situation may be the Universe inviting you to move on from this place as your spiritual home. It may be that you have grown beyond the dynamics or relationship between you and this place as your spiritual community. And maybe your new spiritual home awaits, but in order to find it, you have to leave this place first. I often assume such handiwork is afoot when it comes to such situations of extreme contrast.
I try to remind myself, in the midst of such painful experiences, that even this is the Divine loving me. And with that in mind, I would ask different questions than I might otherwise. For instance, if I know that this experience is Spirit loving me, I might look for the ways in which this could be for my greater or greatest good Empowering questions bring empowering answers.
One more point. In my own experience of such journeys, I have found that I usually want to know the answers before they’re available. I want to understand how this is serving me. I want to know what’s coming. I need assurance that all will be okay in the end.
Consider this reply that assurance. Because there is one thing I can say for sure. If you are doing your own spiritual consciousness work, and you are listening for divine guidance and following that guidance, all will be well! Always. It may take time for details or information to fall into place. But it will, as long as you hold to the truth and hold the high watch. Keep knowing your divinity more and more fully, and others will see it as well. Even if they are new others in a new location.
Hoping for the best to be as pain-free along the way as possible.
Blessings and Love to you in all you do!