Colleen with students on the bridge

There is something to be said when we try to understand others as opposed to judging others based on someone else’s experience.  Learning to understand others begins with a willingness to learn.  This is a skill that should be taught in schools, but long ago debate and deductive reasoning went out the window.

On May 5, 2019 I did a lecture about Spiritual Success and I mentioned the experience that George and I had on the Big Four Bridge that joined Kentucky and Indiana.  We stopped there on our way to pick up George’s daughter from her first year at Vanderbilt University.   I honestly thought that I had previously written about this experience on my blog, but after three major surgeries it got lost in the shuffle.   Pictured with me are the three young people we met.

What is Success?

Colleen and George Irwin on the Big Four Bridge
Colleen and George Irwin on the Big Four Bridge.

They started our conversation with a simple question “What is Success?”   George and I answered in unison “This, taking time to explore a new walking path together.”   They were a little surprised.   I am sure they were expecting money, fame or something completely different than what we answered.

Everyone defines success differently.   We have defined it in time together, walking hand in hand and living in the moment.   Back then it was letting go of the stresses of my BRCA2 diagnosis and the three upcoming surgeries and enjoying what we had right that moment.  We were both full of fear and focusing on it was doing neither of us any good.

It is watching our children thrive despite challenges they face.   Success for me is walking the walk that I have set out to walk.   It is in the simple things we do and share.  It is not about the things in our lives, but the people.

How Tolerance Plays a Part

The conversation did not stop there, it continued onto Spirituality and our beliefs as well as theirs.   It was a beautiful exchange of ideas.  They just truly wanted to understand who we were and what we were about.   I don’t think when they started out on this journey that they would run into two Spiritualists who not only understood their religion but respected it.   We both gave them a lot to think about and research to understand better.

I wish that more people were tolerant and took the time to understand for themselves what other people are about.   It is not always easy to do so, but in the end it is well worth the effort.   This takes me to Spiritual Beliefs, which I have written so many times about.

Every day I run into deeply religious people that judge people based on their narrow knowledge of other religions.   They make assumptions based on what others tell them to believe.   When they have to make a determination it is not always their own genuine thoughts, but that of others.

My best advice, if Spirit puts an opportunity in front of you to understand others — take it.  You never know what it will result in and it may just help heal this fractured world a little by doing so.


Rev. Colleen Irwin
Reverend Colleen Irwin is a Spiritual being having a human experience as a Blogger, Wife, Mother, Mentor, Healer and Public Speaker living in Rochester New York. Colleen, a Natural Born Medium, teaches, lectures and serves Spirit when called upon. She remembers speaking with Spirit as a child and learning how to share this knowledge with others has been an adventure that she captured in her book “Discovering Your Stream”. Colleen has been mentored by Reverend Jack Rudy, and ordained as a Priest in the Order of Melchizedek by the Reverend Dan Chesboro through the Sanctuary of the Beloved. When she is not doing her Spiritual work she is a volunteer docent sharing Susan B. Anthony's history to visitors of the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester. Her trust in Spirit gave her a new title – PREVIVOR. She now uses her platform to educate others about the BRCA genetic mutation and how one can take control of their health and well-being.
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