Pick a Side!

Are You Your Labels?

How are you personally dealing with the polarization going on in the world? Have you noticed how if we are for one thing that we are often expected to be against something else?

There are those who still believe we live in a black/white, gay/straight, right/wrong, yes/no world. The world has never been that way, although the ideal does give one a false sense of security. It a sign of longing for a past that never really existed:  Play by the rules and you are guaranteed to succeed.

The problem with that thinking is nothing is guaranteed. The only constant in the universe is change. And, humans are a species of contradictions.

Being pro-life doesn’t necessarily mean one is totally against abortion in all cases. Being a feminist doesn’t mean one hates men. We love to categorize people for our convenience and may even be proud of the labels we’ve given ourselves. But social media and life in general in the twenty-first century have opened up our private lives to public record. If we are talking the talk, but not walking the way, eventually someone is going to call us out for it.

Conservative and liberals can embrace parts of the opposing ideology when it suits them. Several years ago one of the Popes lamented the “cafeteria Catholicism” practice by Americans – in other words, taking from the religion what works for them personally instead of embracing everything, comfortable or not. But such an approach to religion has been around since religion began; only we just talk more about it now.

We are frequently much different in our thinking and how we live our lives than what other people assume. It comes down to judgment, primarily judgment of others. However, it also speaks to how, when, and what we express on issues currently unfolding in our lives.

There is, however, a way around all of this:  Communication. By listening to understand, instead of listening only for the opportunity to criticize an opposing viewpoint, we open the door to dialog. We might even stand to learn something in the process, not only about an issue, but about ourselves as well.

Would you be willing, starting today, to put aside your preconceived notions the next time you hear something you immediately judge as outrageous, unbelievable, or distasteful? Could we all seek to understand more and criticize less?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2018 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Let It Go

Does It Really Make a Difference?

Have you found yourself watching someone’s mouth move, but not being able to be interested in the nonsense you’re hearing? I do my best to be engaged and concerned when someone is relating a story to me. Really I do! But there are times, and I know you’ve been there, when I just look at the person and say, “And, you’re telling me this because…?”

Sometimes we just need to vent. I get that. My friend, Nancy, and I used to have an agreement that I could call to bitch about anything I wanted for exactly five minutes. No more. She would cut me off at five minutes, done or not. Well, I might not have thought I was done, but Nancy was and that was that.

At some point it behooves us to take a deep breath and say, “Does it really make a difference?” We may be terribly upset about the way someone has treated us. Or perhaps someone has walked away from a commitment she or he has made to us or to our organization. It’s done. It’s over. We can pick up the pieces and get on with our life, or we can whine, scream and moan. Why would we choose the latter?

You see, the simple truth is that some people bless us by coming into our lives and some people bless us by leaving. This works personally, professionally and in our communities or organizations. Ever notice how some people can leave a group or relationship with dignity, class and mutual respect, while other people have to make everyone wrong, create havoc and basically re-define what it means to be a raging drama queen?

We don’t have to be the latter. We also don’t have to be affected by someone who chooses to wear that badge. Know that in the universal scheme of things, all is progressing exactly as it should. It may not look pretty at the moment, but when the dust settles the right people will be involved and the perfect outcome will be assured. By feeding the drama with our crazed upset we are only continuing to strengthen the psychic bond we wish to severe.

Take time this week to let go of the drama of change and embrace the flow of peace in your life. The people that leave us are making room for the people who want to be with us. And so it is!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

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Copyright © 2011, 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.