Monday, February 20, 2017

Something's Gotta Give

I think we are all pretty tired of all of the talking points and pointed accusations that are being made on all sides on many issues. It's all too easy to repost, regurgitate, and repeat. The problem is mostly, people aren't listening. Everyone's just waiting to talk -- or not bothering to wait at all! -- or selectively listening for the parts that bolster our beliefs.

We all have strong beliefs on many issues. But if we're not curious about why others disagree and why our ideas are threatening to them and vice versa, if we're not curious about our role in all of it, we can't ask anyone else to be. If I can't acknowledge that my lens is necessarily unique and limited, I have no possibility of seeing the bigger picture. 

Maybe rather than demanding that other people listen to us, we could stop talking and listen to ourselves. Hear the tone in our own voices, feel the tension in our own bodies, acknowledge the deeper fears and hopes that we have. That we all have.

Maybe if we want people to listen to us, we listen to our own hearts and recognize that when we speak from our hearts, we are easier to hear. And maybe even if "they" don't listen to "us," we do it anyway. Because when I listen to you, we both are changed. Maybe rather than reacting and saying that "they" are crazy, greedy, stupid, wrong, we get curious about their lens. Maybe if we could stay steady and open long enough, we would realize that we have the same fears. Maybe then we can stop reacting out of fear and begin responding with love.

Because the truth lies in the middle. And the path of peace is full of ambiguity and acceptance. Because we all have our darkness. And we all have some incongruent ideas and actions. Let's make peace with our own complexities and own our true values with our actions. Let's go inside and ask the really difficult and only questions that illuminate the pieces we have control over: What is my piece? What am I willing to give up for the greater good? How would I be acting differently if I lived from the very inconvenient truth that all lives matter?

Together, we can practice peace. Because, seriously, something's gotta give! 

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