Space to Change

It was a night of intimate gathering. The holidays are filled with nights of intimate gatherings. Within the span of my 90-minute appearance the group had made fun of handicapped people, questioned Obama’s birth heritage and ridiculed and minimized a community member on the autism spectrum. I stood as an outsider in the conversation, simply watching. Nervous laughter came and went as we waited for the buzz of the second, third, fourth (?) drink to kick in and take the sting off the social anxiety hovering slightly above eye level. It seems we all need a drink to take the edge off – I stopped drinking a long time ago.

I was pissed. I was appalled -  I was embarrassed. These people simply did not see the wreckage and division they were creating in their comments and actions. So, I watched.
But I was realizing too.

Our perceptions, the way we see things, are created by our stories. The things that have happened to us, and what we tell ourselves about who we are and the world around us because of those happenings. We vehemently cling to our way of thinking; fearing change might bring death to the core of who we are. Change might uncover the pain left undone in our hearts.

So, we move to the ridicule and judgment of others as a cheap substitute for knowing our own self-worth.  ‘If I don’t judge you, how will I know (how will we all know) I’m better (than you)?’  That is a fear mentality. A mentality based in shame and insecurity. It’s a mindset established to escape one’s pain.

Those in the room, knew what they knew – they understood what they understood. They were doing the best they could with what they had – which is all any of us can ever do.
And, you know what?

I too, know what I know – I understand what I understand. I am doing the best I can with what I have, which is all I will ever be able to do.

I am enough.  They are enough.

The people around you – they are there for a reason. To stretch you, to grow you. To teach you how to stand up. You are there for a reason as well. There are no errors in the master plan. The good, the bad, the ugly – it is all used. Nothing is wasted.

The people at the party, the people I do life with – they don’t need my judgement or condemnation – or even my opinion, really. What they need is:

S-P-A-C-E

To feel, to grow, to change. Space to feel safe with me in relationship.

They need to know I am here and, unless they are actively hurting me (and won’t stop), I will continue to be here. I will seek to listen, to know. And I will remain me while doing it.
Creating safety in your relationships is so important.

For we are all searching. For our truth, for our place in this world. The miracle happens when you give someone the space (and the grace) to change their minds.

It’s time to come out of hiding…