“When was the last time you told your story?” The question comes from a Native American Medicine Man.
Sometimes we keep telling, sharing or re-writing our story the way I have for so many years. We can’t help the need to release and express that which presses on our heart. People may get tired of hearing about it, but it is only through the telling over and again that we are able to understand it all. Mark Nepo adds that, “It is the sweat and tears of the telling that bring the meaning out of its sleep as if no time has passed. It is the telling that heals.”
I was encouraged by today’s reflective reading to close my eyes and imagine the passages that have brought me to the person I am today. It’s ironic that I come across this right now as I’m re-writing my story. I’ve actually been noticing how many doorways and thresholds I’ve crossed through. The deeper I go into these various places the more I see clearly as if no time has passed. The journey, this time, is not a walk I do alone. I am holding the hand of my younger-self. Something my wonderful therapist once taught me to do. I let her lead the way as she walks me back through each doorway of our story. While it can still be painful at times to live through, I am able to remind my younger-self that it is okay now because we made it all the way through. I’ve learned to thank her this time too. For the strength, perseverance, bravery and the faith it took to get through one thing after another. My hope is that when every doorway has been gone through noted, and the last word is the end. That the child in me will not only see how much she is a part of who I am today, but that she will let go and become as I am.
“Being “right” is the easy part. Finding the “rightness” within the opposite point of view is the challenge.” -Barry Johnson “Polarity Management”
I read this quote and thought of all the controversy and rhetoric that so many of us were caught-up in just a month or so ago. I don’t know about you but I’ve taking a step back lately needing to catch my breath and move onto healthier hopeful positive things that bring some goodness back into my life. It’s created some wedges between me and some of the people I care about. I find it’s unfortunate because it’s behind the wall of the internet that so many things have been said, misunderstood, taking out of context and assumed without the advantage and respect of a face to face conversation. Body language and facial expression play a big part in expression our passions. But more than that don’t we owe at least the benefit of the doubt to those we loved and cherished for so many other reasons that go beyond politics?
I looked at the front page of the Lancaster newspaper today. Jeff Hawkes a reporter for the LNP had a perfect article called the “Bridge Tables” to go with the thought provoking quote above. It’s about a way of bringing people of different political views together in a way that they can discuss their differences in a respectful way with nothing between them except the table they sit at. The event is called the Left/Right Café and the premise behind it is to heal America’s political divide. The organizers Eric Sauder and Jamie Beth Schindler’s idea is for liberals and conservatives to come together for a respectful conversation getting past stereotypes and broadening understanding in a safe comfortable environment. Breaking bread and sharing food often has a way of bringing people together in a non- threating way. The hope is to find some understanding and a place of common ground, and from the article it appears that’s what these willing conversations did. It opened each other’s eyes that sometimes what is right to us is not so different from what the other persons believes, but even if it’s not giving one a chance to explain themselves can allow us to better agree to disagree. And who knows maybe we’d learn a fact or two that holds some truth within it giving us a chance to broaden our perspective on beliefs.
For local readers, I’ll pass on that if you want to know more you can contact Jamie Beth Shchindler at LANCoalition@gmail.com
“Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old, shared a little of what he is good at doing.” -Quincy Jones
Trump makes the statement that his new administration is running like a fine-tuned machine. Imagine what a harmonious country we’d have if only we could believe it was true. Running like a fine-tuned machine is a great example of what the summation of Quincy Jones quote amounts to. Every single person, both young and old sharing a little of what they are good at doing. The key word here is, doing.
I was recently in a conversation with two of my longtime friends. We each have a different political standing, but after a short but effective conversation we all three came to the same conclusion, that we all need to bring it home. Another word on a level in which we can make a difference on a smaller more manageable scale. Each one of us sharing a little of what we are good at doing. Add our passion for what we believe and the openness to listen to each other allows us to take what resonates with us, and leave the rest behind. Just like my two friends and I did. It was about finding a common ground respecting each other’s belief’s, and keeping our friendship in harmony, without putting a wedge between us.
It’s easy enough to talk the talk, but walking the walk is putting the talk into action.
So, what are you good at, and how can you use it to create harmony instead of discord between one another. You don’t have to run for president or do anything outstanding. All you must be is who you are, and offer to the world around you what you are good at doing.
Be the example in the world you want to see!
Today I had a visit from a friend.
As I opened the door came a gentle wind,
And the smell of spices followed her in.
I was reminded of the years that have passed us by.
The things she taught me that I could never deny.
How could I forget the herbs and spices of life.
How to grow them and use them for their treasured delight.
These are the things that she taught me to do.
To simple wear earrings if nothing else.
And how to make strawberry jam to put on the shelf.
How to share the good times as well as the bad.
To be who you are even when you’re feeling sad.
Our friendship has weathered the many years gone by.
As we tasted the herbs and spices of life.
And who could forget the shared glasses of wine
For these are the things that get better with time,
and I’m grateful to call you a friend of mine.