“Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so…”
“On one hand, I keep trying to catch myself by saying I’m just as blinded by my ‘beliefs’ as these people are”, and yet, I don’t think so.”
Two different people.
One on the political right and from my family.
One on the political left and an acquaintance.
Both people in my life.
Today a photo showed up on my Facebook page that made me want to throw something. I sat and stared at the photo, considered the source, which surprised me greatly, heard myself saying, “Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so…”
The following is what I’ve realized about these words in my own life. If the shoe fits enjoy wearing it.
A human being’s view of the world begins to develop in utero. Science is showing us that the chemicals that course through a mother’s body during pregnancy, both internal like adrenaline and external, as with alcohol or drugs, literally set up the thinking structure of the human brain as it takes shape. While we develop further and are born, the birth experiences we have impact our view of the world. If our bond is secure, our brain is going to be more free to develop a sense of grounding in the world that is so vital to our mental health and to our ability to process rational thought. We all know that this process of growth and maturation goes on throughout our lives and gives us the lens with which we see and experience the world around us. As there is no template that ensures a one size fits all worldview, we seem biologically set up to disagree and fight it out from the get go. In light of these realities, how do we ever come to understand one another and bring about real change? I think I know but I don’t like it very much.
I believe that in order to really understand another, I have to be willing to enter their world and be open to changing my own mind on something I may hold very dear. It may mean that I will see my own self in a very different light than I did before. The hard cold truth is that this process is simply VERY HARD WORK – excruciating soul work and not at all for the shallow or faint of heart. The reality simply is that only way we can ever reach a place of real change in anything, including politics is to commit to doing the kind of inner work on our own self that can allow us to realize that even at our very best, we see in a mirror with a lot of smudges on it. Even with all of our data, our evidence that demands a verdict and tons of life experiences on board…we never will reach and all-knowing status. But here’s the rub. Our ego doesn’t realize that.
I believe that in order to really change things anywhere, it’s going to require some real letting go of our own selves a lot more, a lot of what goes with our own agendas and adopt a new willingness to really understand. We’ll have to begin to practice the putting down of our own sacred views (especially at key times and in key places) and take the risk of positively entering into the reality of the other without demanding that they become like us in order to do so. I think it could be pretty painful but I also think it could just usher in a whole new day.
So in conclusion let me just say, “Yes, it truly is just me…and I know so.”