My Editor (ok—my mom) and I have been going through my past blogs preparing them for the book. It’s been fun to re-read them, but I definitely saw a pattern. When you read them back to back to back, you notice things.
One might notice that there is a common thread of my struggle with control, anxiety, worry, fear and lack of faith. On some occasions, I even act like I might actually have an answer to the same questions I pose only 7 entries later. I sound a bit unstable, actually. I guess someone could call me wishy-washy, but I don’t think that’s really the case.
My core values don’t fluctuate, but how I approach people and circumstances can be different from day to day. Because, and this is deep, people and circumstances change from day to day. There is never ONE right way to approach every situation (love is always a “given”). I think this is something I have learned about life, and about myself over the past five or six years. Hard life seasons tend to teach us things we can learn in no other way. We live in gray areas most of the time.
I love the author Jodi Picoult for this very reason. Everything she writes points to this truth. It’s always a matter of perspective. She shows this by breaking the overarching story down into chapters that give the reader insight into how each character is effected by or involved in the story. When you read the chapter from the mother’s viewpoint, inside her head, you are positive that she is doing the right thing for everyone involved. Then, you read it from the mind of her 12-year-old daughter. Her thinking is completely different and also seems to make perfect sense. Then the dad comes along and gives his two cents and he too seems to have some solutions or doubts that make what the mom and daughter think seem absurd! Again — the world is not simple. It’s a mix of colors that blend together into a lovely shade of gray (and I don’t mean the scandalous-novel-type).
What I see in myself, as I review several hundred blogs, is that I am learning to live in the gray-ness with serenity. That does not mean I have no backbone or opinions or standards. Everyone just relax. What it means for me is that I have learned, or am learning, to hold my opinions loosely. My judgmental side has drastically shrunk (though still a battle sometime).
Through personal heartache and suffering and from walking through the same with others, I have come to understand that life is complicated. Until I have walked a day in someone else’s shoes, I have no room to determine what is best for them.
And as I said in an early blog, thank God Almighty that it is not my job to do so. It’s His. My job is to love and support and encourage.
This morning I searched and searched for this quote by Plato (I knew I had underlined it in one of my many daily readings): “Time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain, therefore, awhile from setting yourself up as a judge on the highest matters.” Many of my convictions (which is sometimes a spiritual-sounding word for judgments or personal preferences as to how others should behave), that I thought I believed to my very roots, have changed over the past few years. So, I hope and pray, when I write that I make it clear that these are my thoughts for today. They reflect what life has thrown me recently. They could change this afternoon. So I try my best to keep one theme and one theme only going through anything I put on paper: Love God. Love People (myself included). What is it that they say? “Everything else is gravy.”