The Pope


My first commitment is to the truth. 

 I practice yoga for it and every day I pray for it. Praying is very natural for me. It comforts me.   I sit in prayer and meditation and everyday I pray for guidance.  Everyday I pray for the truth.  Last week while I was sitting in meditation, a memory came to me. You know how memories can sometimes hit you right in the bones, where you feel it in your body? Well, this happened for me.   It began with goosebumps and ended in tears.  The kind of tears that left me feeling like I just got hugged with so much love.

The memory was of my grandpa on my wedding day. My mom is from Sicily and raised me to be Catholic but here I was, getting ready to marry a jewish man and we chose to have a jewish wedding. In our wedding we had all of the grandparents walk down the aisle and in a jewish ceremony all of the men wear yamakas. I wasn’t sure how my grandfather would respond to this so I made up all kinds of things in my head instead of talking to him about it. One story after another appeared as I worried. There was the story that he would be disappointed that I was moving away from a religion he believed in. There was the story that he may even be devastated by this. I was so afraid he would be any of those things and it kept me from the truth.

 When the moment came for my grandpa to put on his yamaka, he looked at me with a huge, childlike grin on his face and declared, “I feel like the pope!”

"I feel like the Pope."  To me, those words say it all.   They speak of his joy,  my grandfather was  so happy that day.    He was happy and none of my stories were true.  I believed that they were at the time, but they weren't.   My grandpa made the leap to connect our two faiths - his catholicism with my husband’s judaism.    

I believe my grandpa came to me in my prayers last week to remind me to tell only the stories that are true.   I believe the message came as a reminder to let go of the stories that aren't, the ones that create suffering.  

I believe we all suffer way too much, for no reason by telling stories that aren’t true. There are the stories of, “I’m not enough.” We make up stories about ourselves and other people and what happened and what their reactions may be. It happens unconsciously all day long and it can cause so much unnecessary suffering.

May we all remember to only tell stories that are true. The truth is almost always kinder than the stories we create in fear.