Friday, February 24, 2012

what do YOU see?

What I see:  The old woman is tired and looking downwards; she has a lot on her mind, and a lot of regrets.  The young woman is aloof and maybe dressed for a party; she hasn't got time for regrets; she's too busy living.

I have been both, and the two ladies are symbolic of two possible interpretations of the truth.

I believe there are two sides to every story, but only one truth.

As a world-traveller, and a homebody too, I have learned it is too easy to stereotype what we see, and actually not see the whole picture.  I believe we could change the world if we understood that things are not always black and white, right or wrong.  If we understood that no one sees things just as we do, it would help us all to accept each other's unique contribution to the world as we know it.

I call myself a life-long learner, but I must guard against arrogance when others show ignorance or immaturity.  My weakness, like Mr. Darcy of Austen's Pride and Prejudice, is that my good opinion, once lost, cannot be restored.  I hate dealing with people who only see things their way, yet I can be guilty of this myself.  I hate arrogance, but I can have a secret snobbery of my own when others show their ignorance of other cultures and the world around them.  I get tired of simplistic thinking and politically correct appeals to the masses, but I do value individuals, even when they haven't experienced what I have.

Perhaps what I am saying is this:  self-awareness cannot happen in a vacuum.  Relationship and connection enable us to better understand, not simply the other person, but rather, ourselves.  "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another," as the Biblical proverb says.

Going back to the two-truths picture:  what I see reflects my own heart, and I interpret it my own way according to my own truth.  I have regrets:  I regret that in the past I did not more often stand up for what I believe; that I did not communicate into situations where I would have been disapproved of or disagreed with earlier in life.  I could have added to the learning of others, even if I was rejected at first, and I could have learned more if I had interacted with people by dealing with tougher issues. 

I think the freer we become, the younger we feel.  So, no more regrets.  It's time to speak my mind, and time to learn from authentic others.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Lie

The lie is that we can work our way to God. The lie is that we can sit back and watch while the world burns. The lie is that we can have faith and no fruit. The lie is that we can know where another person's heart is before God. The lie is that sex is sinful. The lie is that money is evil. The lie is that I am never responsible: someone else is always to blame. The lie is that setting boundaries is selfish. The lie is that I am in control. The lie is that everything is black and white. The lie is that perfectionism is godliness. The lie is that I am forgiven but I still need to strive. The lie is that I can please everyone. The lie is that tolerance is necessarily wrong.  The lie is that there are absolutes that must be followed without question. The lie is that there is no such thing as truth or evil. The lie is that love has failed. The lie is that there is no God.  - Melody Kay Young

[updated for clarity 12/16]

‎"Religion loves to correct what you said, Relationship just wants to know why you said it? One cares for the law; the other cares only for the heart!" via The Rep -