A funny thing happened recently: a few months ago, while looking for inspiring content for the lectures I give at Wellspring (Cancer Support Centre, Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto), I came across a series of sermons by an evangelistic pastor named Joel Osteen. Now, at first glance, Joel Osteen is a little over-the-top! My partner and I had a little chuckle over the extravegant performance given to some 40 000 individuals who made up the congregation. Without listening to anything beyond the first 30 seconds, I stopped the video and resumed my search for "better" content.
Fast forward to last week: after having a heartfelt conversation with a beautiful, spiritual friend of mine, she sent me an email stating "it is at the other extreme of spirituality, but well worth a listen". Attached to the email was a link to Joel Osteen's "Knowing What to Ignore" video! Who knew that I was destined to listen to this guy?!
I think that it is good to remember that appropriate, spiritual messages come in all shapes and sizes and from a variety of sources. It is not our role to judge the source of the wisdom but to accept the wisdom itself and use it to find our own path to our spiritual growth and destiny.
In Joel Osteen's video, he discusses the things (situations, people, etc) in life that try to pull us away from our potential: the critical co-worker that minimizes your efforts, the disgruntled ex who finds power in spreading negative gossip, the acquaintance who is continually "one-upping", the family member who never quite accepts us for who we are. I could go on of course, but you get the idea! What is truly important to realize is that the energy wasted on situations and people who do not support your growth, is energy that could be directed towards you reaching your potential. This is where the ignoring piece comes in: the more we can "ignore" negative situations that drain our energy, the more energy is left for our own happiness!
Joel Osteen has more to say along the same lines. Watch the video: if you can get past traditional Christian speak and simply listen to the overall message, it is excellent! My friend was right, it is certainly at the other extreme of spirituality, but well, well worth a listen!