Clients who have known me for 10+ years recommended I try Jdate recently. They are Jewish and knew that my value system and political outlook was similar to theirs and that religion wasn’t a big deal to me. I honor everyone’s individual beliefs as long as they honor my desire to be spiritual, but not religious. JDate doesn’t require you to be Jewish and I had checked the boxes indicating unaffiliated. Saturday afternoon I had a spontaneous call from Mr. X, we had communicated online and agreed to meet for drinks and a bite. (I know usually I have to be asked Wednesday for Saturday, but had already cancelled one date so figured I’d give this one a try!) After we were seated and enjoyed about 30 minutes of conversation, he asked if I was Jewish. I am not. At this point Mr. X got upset and accused me of having misrepresented myself. His vehemence stemmed from his belief that I “could never understand being Jewish and the persecution they had endured.” I was stunned since almost every religion and race I know has endured persecution at one time or another, in degrees of horrificness. (Yes, the Holocaust is horrendous.) Mr. X is 44, a psychologist, never married, and doesn’t practice his religion, but was outraged that I was online on JDate and not Jewish. (I know many who are interfaith dating or married and very happy, so was truly amazed at his reaction.) He is carrying values he got from his own family years ago and imposing them on both himself and others he meets without truly realizing the effect. I excused myself and left a deteriorating situation.
It made me wonder though how many of us are carrying beliefs we got from our family of origin whether they pertain to religion or money or health, without questioning them or knowing if they are hindering us. On the religion side too often it seems we are raised to view any religion beyond our own as inappropriate and incompatible. On the money side, we may have heard money is the root of all evil, rich people aren’t happy, money doesn’t grow on trees, or any number of other messages that create limiting beliefs about wealth and abundance. On the health side, I remember such ridiculousness as I’d get worms from raw cookie dough (never did), and if I went barefoot, I’d catch a cold, as if germs came in through my feet! We have a choice as we grow and gain wisdom to let go of beliefs that don’t serve us, in fact they hold us back and keep us where we’ve always been instead of allowing us the chance to grow further. What are you holding onto that isn’t serving you? Can you let it go and grow?