It was the culmination of several weeks of increasingly uncomfortable interactions with this person, and I went home after the conversation and cried. Worse yet, I developed a cluster headache (which is the only condition more painful than natural childbirth, in my experience) and the crying made it worse. Not crying made it even more worse. (Yes, I was in such pain that this was the state of my grammatical abilities.)
I finally called a friend (and biz partner) and told him I needed meds, water and coffee. And a shoulder to cry on. He arrived with all of these, and I blubbered on said shoulder. I cried that someone would think so poorly of me. I cried that I was so shallow as to CARE what another person thought. I cried because I was crying, which clearly meant that I was weak. I cried because all this emotional fal-de-ral obviously proved that I was spiritually unevolved.
He patted my back, handed me tissues for my nose, and waited for the noise to subside. Then he said, “You are not weak. You are strong. You held yourself together during the meeting. You kept to the high ground while not giving up any ground. Thank you for that. You are strong. Look at you. You waited until you got home to fall apart. You don’t need to apologize to anyone for being who you are. I value you. Our other business partners value you. Your strength carries us all. We like your emotional nature. We like your hard-ass self. You don’t need to change a thing.”
My spiritual director said, “Why do you think that being emotional means you’re not spiritual? Isn’t bliss spiritual? Joy? Happiness? Those are all just emotions. Why would you consider anger, sadness, and frustration to be any less spiritual? They’re not good or bad. You are an emotional creature. In fact, you are uniquely emotional. And that’s a great gift. Why not accept it?”
That’s when I realized that to be truly spiritual is to be true to myself. ALL of me. Not just the version that I idealize myself to be.