Melinda Lee Schmitt

One of my life’s quests has been to discover why people are so mean. I was around 5 when I asked my dad, “why were those people so mean?” about a commercial. I remember feeling so confused that my parents were preaching kindness, but right there on a public screen was a commercial that seemed to promote cruelty.

This commercial was a beauty commercial, one that was openly telling the public that they were ugly and they needed this product to remedy it. Calling people ugly was cruel, I didn’t understand why anyone would listen to it. I didn’t understand why it was allowed.

Fast forward just a few short years and that commercial and its cruelty were forgotten as society molded me into who they needed me to be. I became indoctrinated in all the cultural ways that meant I belonged. I bought all the beauty products. I wore all the right clothes. I got married, got a house, had kids and a dog. I was a stay-at-home mom. I did it all right things according to society.

I bought the damn beauty product. Why then was I so angry and miserable?

This took many years of unpacking. What I have come to discover is that I left my authentic nature for one that society deemed as more acceptable. I refused to listen to my innate wisdom and the wisdom of the birds, trees, and rocks for the sake of fitting in. I was taught to believe this was the only way to belong and as a human, I am hard-wired for belonging. So, I listened to the beliefs and ideations of others to live an appropriate life.

“A belief is just a thought you keep thinking.” (Abraham Hicks)

Interestingly, by carrying these beliefs of others, I became one of those mean people. I only looked out for myself, I had no energy to truly care for another. I joined in on gossip sessions bad-mouthing others that didn’t follow the ‘rules’. I screamed at my family when everything didn’t go exactly my way. Don’t get me started on the road rage.

I needed to control all of my surroundings in an attempt to create the joy I left behind when I turned my back on my innate wisdom.

Refusing to listen to my authentic nature caused me to become a mean, small, self-indulging, self-flagellating victim. The very ugly that the commercial promised to correct.

Returning to the truth of who I am, listening to my innate wisdom and the wisdom of nature expands me. It infuses me with compassion. It gives me energy to be of service to others. It beautifies me. It reminds me that I was meant to love myself first so that I can love others better.

This is why the animals want to communicate with us. This is why we should listen.