Isn’t it incredible how differently we can see things? On day #3 of election purgatory, a popular blog I follow lamented how Biden as president would be the U.S. hitting moral and financial rock bottom, while Trump is a Christlike godsend. 🤔🤯 Umm … What?! As much as I wanted to quote Luke Skywalker to say: “Amazing! Every word of what you just said, was wrong.”, I took a deep breath and decided to exchange my frustration for fascination. I began asking things like: Why would her story lead her to say that? Why do her experiences bias her to champion people group A, but completely overlook B? (I’m being purposefully vague) From there, it really wasn’t hard to realize: 1) I get how she’d see things that way. 2) There’s real beauty in her beliefs. 3) I thought very similarly 20 years ago. As my friend Dr. Ron Ruthruff shared with me the day prior: A key to healing our many divides and embracing diversity is to become more fascinated by difference, than frustrated. Note, I didn’t magically go to 0% frustration, I still am a bit, I just decided to trump it with fascination. 😉
My wife, Lisa, is SO good at this! Unknowingly, people will espouse views that should trigger her, given the traumatic roads she’s walked, yet with grace like flowers in her hair, she’ll say: “That’s interesting. I’d love to hear more of why you think that?” And 9.99 times out of 10 this turns the conversation in unifying, kind, healing, and loving directions. Aside from Love, in all its divine fullness, I don’t know if there’s a relational disposition above curiosity I find more life-giving and amazing!
Ironically, one of the keys I see to being awesome like Lisa is something I long thought was sort of right, but didn’t apply to me. To shift one’s mind state from frustrated, outraged, and such to fascinated, curious, and understanding, I find it’s vital to realize what we dislike in others are reflections of the junk inside us. For instance, what irritated me about the blogger was the certainty her views are 100% correct and others are wrong. What annoys me about Trump is his propensities to blame others and not own his missteps. What upsets me about Biden is his not giving credit for the good Trump has done. You know what though? I have the inclination to do ALL those things inside me, sometimes I do, and I dislike it! Do you know what I mean?
I know it’s not easy and takes time to develop a spirit that engages differences with kindness, curiosity, and understanding. Yet, isn’t that the way it goes? Degrees, expertise, healing, therapy, parenting, and many of the other best things in life take time and effort. And, as my eyes become increasingly opened to seeing how the rubbish in others that irks me is IN me, it becomes much easier to genuinely ask people different from me to tell me more about X, why they think Y, or about their journey to Z (or at least ponder possible answers). I also find it SUPER helpful to do something physical to release my frustration (sigh, walk, growl, run, stretch, etc.), so I can calmly interact in a loving way. As always, I hope this blesses you and would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
Love & Hugs,
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