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Just Because They’re Not On YOUR Path, It Doesn’t Mean They’re Lost!

Jenna Phillips new 082911We all are certain about what we believe in. We’re all on some kind of path that defines who we are and what we’re up to. There is an infinite number of lifestyles and belief systems that we can all choose from that we will feel strongly about for a season or an entire lifetime. To say that any of them is an “absolute truth” is no different than the reason why many wars have been fought.

Can you be in relationship with someone who completely disagrees with what you believe in? Is that even possible? Yes it is, and accepting someone else’s unparalleled beliefs is the first step in successfully rebuilding a burned bridge that is seemingly beyond reparation.

With true, authentic, and unconditional LOVE, anything is possible and there is no separation. When we feel certain about something, our Ego is on a mission to prove that we are right, right, right!! It takes a lot of courage and strength to actually be open to looking at something from someone else’s perspective.

Being open to hearing what someone else has to say is NOT the same as letting go of what you believe in. Listening lovingly and without judgment is, in fact, one of the only ways we can coexist harmoniously.

When we engage, interact, and converse we all get to meet others where they are. If we stand firmly in our righteousness, we build walls and create resentment. If you’re hearing or experiencing something that is not in alignment with your solid beliefs, it’s not necessarily wrong. It’s factually different from your own perspective.

There are studies to show that being a vegan is horribly unhealthy, and there are studies to show that eating meat and dairy is downright toxic. There are documentaries and science to support both sides. So, then, who is wrong? Who is right?

Neither.

To me, it makes sense to eat food in its most natural and organic state. I avoid GMOs as much as possible, and I eat wild-caught, grass-fed, cage-free, and antibiotic & hormone free animal products. If it was made in a lab, I don’t want it to go in my body. Am I right? No. I’m just connected to what is true for me.

I’m consistently searching for ways to enhance my personal growth so I can be the best version of myself. I believe that personal development is a daily practice – just like working out. You can’t go to the gym for a few months, get your dream body, and never go back to the gym with the expectation to always look that way.  I live my life on purpose and, as a leader, it’s my responsibility to keep expanding my container. I partake in really amazing workshops and I surround myself with people who support me in that search.

While I feel that everyone would benefit greatly from experiencing the kind of work that I do, am I right? My enthusiastic Ego says, “YESSSSS!!!!!” but my loving heart says, “maybe not.” I know that my own experience has been life changing, but that has been my path, my perspective, my opinion, and my choice. All I can do is be an invitation for others to “try it on.”

Will you influence others to look at their lives in a different way? Absolutely. Will you be able to influence everyone? Absolutely not. And that has nothing to do with you, so don’t take it personally if someone isn’t ready to make a change. Even if he or she IS ready, it still doesn’t have anything to do with you. Everyone’s life experiences are their own.

I have a lot of really amazing friends and family members who are in complete alignment with what I’m passionate about and committed to in my own life. It totally feels awesome to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and to be elevated. I also have amazing friends and family members in my life who are in complete opposition of some of my firmest beliefs.

I always BE who I am and allow them to BE who they are. I meet them where they are and focus on what we DO have in common. Because of this, we HAVE harmonious relationships with each other. Does this come naturally to me? Not at all! It has taken some work, patience, love, and acceptance of the unique being I know that I AM. When I get excited about something, I want EVERYONE to experience it – and I mean EVERYONE.

Can you think of a time where your beliefs were challenged and questioned? How did you handle that and what did you learn from it? And now that you know all that you do, how are you going to be different the next time it happens? Tell me all about it in the comments section below! I love hearing from my AMAZING readers!

Love all that is you,
Jenna xox

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Jenna Phillips is a Total Wellness Philosopher, Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer & the founder of her lifestyle brand I’m On A Mission. Follow her on Twitter and be inspired.

  • MeredithShay

    This hit really close to home! I have been struggling with how to balance my relationship with my mom and step dad since they have become kind of extreme in their religious beliefs. I understand that everyone is on their own path and people do what works for them, but they want to spoon feed it down my throat, even going as far as giving me parenting advice about what I should have my own son believe in. I find myself getting worked up and angry when we have to go to family functions where they will be. I know they will always bring up something religious (judging others for not believing in what they believe), and it’s awkward and uncomfortable. I try really hard to see past them judging others for their “sins” as a deeper cry for love for themselves, but I don’t know how to balance our relationship because I feel that I either have to be quiet and just take it, or stand up for myself and risk starting an argument because we all believe fundamentally different things. I just want to find a place where they can be content with their beliefs without judging me for mine, therefore creating a downward spiral of me coming back at their attacks from a place of defensiveness. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Meredith

    • Hope Swiatek

      Meredith – As my dad is getting older he has gone back to the religion that he was raised with and now feels it is his duty to get me to see things as he does. Mind you, during my childhood he had no religion and made no effort for me to have any. Periodically, I let him have his say. Then I tell him I think that’s it’s great that he’s found something meaningful to him at this point in his life and that I have my own beliefs that I am comfortable with.

      My philosophy about religion is that it’s personal. It is what it means to you and no one else can tell you what that is. Remember that when others are judging us, they are really judging themselves. So perhaps try not to take your mother’s words personally. Thank her for her input and be done with it.

      It is your right to provide your children with the values and beliefs you see fit and you can accept or not accept guidance from anyone you choose in doing so. Stay strong and above all else, stay true to yourself.

      • MeredithShay

        Thank you for your wisdom. After reading your response I realized that I was coming from a place of defensiveness at this point from every time I would interact with them. Instead I can see that it really isn’t about me, it’s more about their own personal beliefs. Same with me and how I interact with them.

        Thank you for the reminder! With love,
        Meredith

  • gretchen swift

    My philosophy has always been “agree to disagree” …great advice on any level!
    Gretchen

  • Brad

    So true! I’ve burnt way more bridges being right than I ever have being accepting. Thanks, Jenna, for another great blog!

  • Quddus

    It’s how I’ve repaired my relationship with my father :-)

  • Trev

    The only way to fly. Thank you for this Jenna!

  • Jasmin

    This hits home, hits deep. A truth we get to live and practice and manifest in the world around us. Thanks Jenna!!

  • Ben Whitehair

    I’m going through this right now with my own mother and her family. At this point in life we have fundamentally different views on so much, but I have been committed to approaching the relationship(s) with an open mind and an open heart. For me, what has been true that there has needed to be communication about the past (we didn’t talk for over 6 years) in order to clear the space to move forward and create something new.

    Great post. I love you.

  • Maven Carrie Powell

    I can totally relate, especially with a past relationship. The main reason he wanted to end it was because I wasn’t giving him what he most wanted… we weren’t living the exact same vision, among other things that he didn’t like about me (where I was financially, etc). I felt judged. I felt that he was focused on what he wanted, not what worked for “us”. I truly believe if the focus had been about what WAS working, as opposed to what wasn’t, it could have been different, especially since there was so much love in the relationship. I ended up agreeing it was best to part ways because I couldn’t have what I most wanted in the relationship either, which was monogamy and commitment. I suppose it’s a matter of the differences hurting you emotionally or not. And ultimately its better to part ways than to try to change people. Overall, I agree with all that you’ve said. And I will be hyper aware of judging others and who/how they are, especially in relationships. Thanks Jenna!! xo

  • Maria Lopez

    Love this! Had a conflict with girlfriends on us not seeing eye to eye on issues.. Had to look at me and come from love no matter what.. I realized I was at a different level and that’s ok.. No judgement just love:).. Love ya

  • Sandy Dobronte

    Jenna I AM totally committed and passionate about your mission ! Keep sharing your passion with all of us…. you inspire so many people just by being you!! And and I have learned so much from you. Even if I AM your mother! I Love you!

  • Ryan Basham

    This is so present for me right now! I was just back in my home town and came across so many people who are legalistic about their faith. And then, I looked within and found myself trying to be legalistic about my diet and other ways of being. Not gonna work! You hit the nail om the head, Jenna! Thanks!

  • Sergio Lara

    Such a great read !!! This is exactly how I was able to mend the relationship with my mother… I realized that there were simply things that we would have different views on and that is was perfectly fine. I accepted her for who she was, and was able to understand that I shouldn’t feel challenged when she questioned my belief, yet view it as an opportunity to listen to what she had to contribute and be receptive (without judgment) to what was true for her.

    Thank you for your consistent positive post and blogs !! They always have a great message and I always look forward to what you have to say. Keep them coming !!

  • Ashley Vegan-YogaGeek

    jenna, i told u before…. vegan is the best way ;) xo