In a time where so many of us see the world differently, how can you be sure your version is right? Why are you so positive that you are the one thinking logically and others are not thinking clearly? Have you even ever asked yourself this question? We only know what we are open to hearing information about but are most of us truly open to hearing information that contradicts our personal opinion? I watch people swear with absolute assertion that something is matter of fact even when half the population sees the same situation in an opposite manner. Could it be that half of us are right and the other half are just plain crazy? We really need to start thinking about this. Or could it be that we only focus on the so called people and facts that feed our narrative so we never see the complete picture at all? Something to think about.
Have you ever considered that the people you are judging are not the problem but maybe it’s your perception of them that is the real problem? Sometimes we create a narrative in our head about someone or a group of people that we convince ourselves is the word of God. Do you think if you had a conversation with those people that they would agree with your analysis of who they are and what they actually believe compared to what you believe to be true about them? There is way too much assuming going on, generalizations that are destroying relationships and further dividing people into boxes they don’t come close to fitting into. I am actually surprised by the people actively engaging in this every single day. Are we so pompous to believe that we know what is in someone else’s heart and that we have the right to look down on them because our ego allows us to believe they are below us by our own selfish standards? It’s easy to twist some aspects of a situation to validate our own viewpoint. So I ask you to answer one, simple question:
Have you ever been wrong about someone?
Maybe the healing can start there. Maybe real growth begins with acknowledging the fact that maybe, just maybe it’s the way we see something that is what is really wrong. Are you brave and real enough to be honest? Looking forward to the comments.
I have been so proud of the fact I have avoided useless conversations on social media. We all have our breaking point though, that moment when we have to speak the truth even when we know we will be on the receiving end of a public, brutal verbal beating. I am just really getting tired of people who call other people bigots and haters. Everyone has a very valid reason to believe in the things they do and why do we think we have the right to call someone names and assume we know the reason people feel the way we do? So it’s not right for haters to be haters but yet this small group of people hate the people who they call haters? What the hell is going on here? Do we really put our meaningless opinions and views before our respect for another human being who is maybe different from who we are? Is that not the same thing in disguise but we are too busy throwing sticks and stones to realize we are the very thing we claim to despise? Who do people think they are calling other people names? Are we in elementary school out on the playground? Yes I am offended because I know several people who feel very different ways and I don’t consider them haters. I do respect them enough to consider their points and views are valid too and I have no right to decide who is right and who is wrong. Just my useless two cents. But seriously, stop the name calling. It makes you look small.
Guilt is the enemy. If I wrote down the list of things I feel guilty about in a week, I could fill an entire book. What is guilt exactly and where does it stem from?
This is how Wikipedia defines guilt:
Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation. It is closely related to the concept of remorse.
Back to the where does it stem from part. Only I make the choice to decide if something I say or do is beneath the standards I set for myself. The enemy is not guilt, the enemy is me and I need to replace that re-occurring wasteful thought with a healthier, more inspirational one. It’s so important to practice kindness and compassion and it’s easy for me to do when it comes to others. Why then, am I so darn hard on myself?
How about you? Do you feel guilt often? How do you handle those feelings when they come up?
My entire life, every thing I have ever done has been influenced by what I believe. Now I find myself in my mid forties, questioning everything I once held sacred. I can’t help but wonder how many of those beliefs have limited me in some way? How different would my life look if I had been open to the things I wouldn’t consider before? The older I get, the more I realize how little I know. The older I get, the more willing I am to learn. This year I am going to do my best to be open to all possibilities. No more limiting my own life because of a couple random thoughts in my own crazy manipulative head. What do you think? Have your beliefs limited you in any way?
I have blogged about this so many times that it’s starting to be painful. I watch people all around me desire a different life, different circumstances, a new outcome. What they fail to see is that they keep living the same misery over and over again while getting the same unfortunate results. Why me they cry? I’m such a victim. I just don’t get it. I’ve said this before, 1+2 will always be three. If you keep plugging the same numbers or same mistakes into the same equation, guess what answer/outcome you’ll end up with? It may look different but 2+1=3 too.
So what can you do to make the changes you really desire? Something different! Start by taking your power back and accepting accountability for your own life. Take that finger you so eagerly point at everyone else and point it so hard back at yourself that you poke out your own eye. Stop being in denial about how YOU are ruining your own life by living the same whoa is me scenario over and over again.
One thing I have learned that has completely changed my life is that I cannot change anyone else. I do however have the power to change myself, my thinking, beliefs, my life. If you want change, it’s up to you. If you keep living in the same unsatisfying patterns, it’s because of you.
DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Be your own hero. Save yourself before it’s too late.
1) Do you feel personally attacked or offended when someone has a viewpoint that differs from your own?
2) Do you get angry or feel resentful when someone disagrees with you?
Why in the world am I asking these questions? It’s taken me a very long time to learn the real meaning of agreeing to disagree. If I would blog about something important to me and someone would disagree, I used to take it very personally. Now, I am comfortable in the things I believe while at the same time understanding that believing something does not make it true or right for anyone else. I have also learned to listen to someone else’s viewpoint in a way I can really understand where he or she is coming from, NOT with the intent of arguing or trying to change anyone’s mind. Listening and trying to be understanding and empathetic when it comes to what makes someone think the way they do or act the way they act can develop into a deep respect for each other’s differences. If we go beyond the words and really understand the passion behind a particular belief, maybe we won’t be able to agree but we may be able to better understand. Mutual respect, couldn’t we all use a bit more of that. Empathy, kindness…spread more of that. Someone has to do it, why not YOU?
So my mom does this little thing that made me think about something today. Sometimes when we are having a conversation about something she doesn’t want to hear or I have an opinion completely different than hers, she will say “Goodbye Kim” and hang up the phone. I noticed also when I blog about something that people have strong opinions toward I will often lose a follower or two. It doesn’t happen often but it does happen. It makes we wonder why we cannot tolerate listening to opinions that are different from our own. I will say this. My opinion is not the word of God. It is neither right nor wrong. In fact, it isn’t really even that important. It is just the way I feel about a particular situation. If it stirs emotion in you the reader, than somewhere it strikes a cord with you personally. My opinion is only offensive if you allow it to be. My opinion and words can only inspire you if you choose to allow them to. Otherwise, I am just a simple girl writing down some feelings and words.
It’s okay to disagree, really it is. But to personally attack someone who feels differently than you takes things to a whole new level. I am open to others opinions. I will respectfully listen and I will respond. I will not however stoop to the point that I disrespect a person over a silly disagreement over something at the end of the day that really doesn’t personally affect or concern me. People need to find a way to be more open to communication. We have fallen victim to arguing and insulting and somewhere along the way, respect for each individual has been lost. Respecting someone does not mean you sacrifice who or what you believe for the sake of giving someone else what he or she wants. Respect, at least to me, does not involve one side ending in a win or defeat. Respect is agreeing to disagree or not expecting someone to sacrifice their beliefs for yours. Respect is not always getting your way and being okay with that. Respect is sometimes walking away from an argument or a fight and sometimes just choosing to remain quiet. Respect is never offending another human being or assuming your needs and wants trump anyone else’s . We are a selfish society and we all feel entitled to life exactly the way we feel it should be. There are way too many people for that to ever result in anyone ever being truly satisfied. It’s a tug if war. Pull a little and give some slack. We can’t pull and pull and pull or we will become so tired that we will just crash. Don’t make things personal, especially when it comes to a silly opinion. Stopping following someone because of one post where your beliefs strongly disagree says quite a bit about our society today. We only want to surround ourselves with people who believe the same and want the same and maybe even act the same. Who are we to play God and to judge and pick and choose the parts we see in other people. They are made up of so many layers on so many levels and because you may support something that I don’t should not separate us. It should simply be noted that you support something I don’t. It shouldn’t define us or our relationships but sadly, we are not yet bigger than our own stifling skin. Maybe someday we will truly learn to love, appreciate and respect our differences as much as we do what makes us the same. Maybe. Maybe not.
I posted something politically controversial last night. A wonderful commenter brought something to my attention and I feel the need to speak about it. I often post very positive quotes. I am generally positive by nature. I am also human by nature. I am not even close to being perfect. Much of what I post is as much for my own benefit and growth as it is for others. That being said. I have some pretty solid beliefs and morals. Just because I set those standards for myself does not at all mean that I judge others that are different from myself. I judge me. My behaviors, my thoughts, my actions, the way I treat others. Just because I do not agree with someone else’s convictions does not make me intolerant. Me expressing myself is just staying true to myself and less about pointing a finger in the direction of anyone else. I have a voice and my blog is a place I choose to speak my truth. So, how do we stand up for ourselves, disagree with others and not be labeled as intolerant? That is the question. I respect many people that live a lifestyle that would not be acceptable for myself. However, I have to walk in my own shoes, not yours. Just because something or someone goes against something I believe in for myself does NOT make me intolerant, or prejudice or anything else. I can respect the person without agreeing with the behavior or values. There is a difference and I really think clearing up this misconception will alleviate a great deal of anger in the world we live in today. No ones values or beliefs are more important than anyone else’s, however, they are everything to the person they belong too. It’s okay to agree to disagree. That is not intolerance but rather respect for someone different than yourself. No one can say what is right or wrong because what is right for me may not be right for you. Let’s not get caught up in these big words society throws around that breeds anger. It’s okay to stay true to yourself. You have to be. That may be the only real truth you will ever know. Be a home for it, embrace it and don’t think there is something wrong with you because someone else is different. Even if everyone you know is different. Be who you are. Love who you are. It’s okay to speak up. That is why we have a voice.
The word Namaste has become my biggest inspiration. I really try and practice it each and every day. It means I bow to you. Despite all our differences it speaks to your own divine light recognizing the divine light in others. Sometimes the greatest challenge in life is seeing a person beyond their words, beyond their actions, and beyond what and who we perceive them to be. We are all so much more than what others see. What is really important is that we see deeper into ourselves and love and respect ourselves for all that we are regardless of what others would see as good or bad. We are all special. We are unique. There is only 1 of us in this great big world. Find peace in your oneness and allow that to overshadow all our differences with confidence to find peace with the rest of the world. Namaste.