As I’m nearing the end of my self-righteous twenties, I’m starting to understand more about life, accepting people and myself exactly as they are, and settling into the idea that no one is perfect, no one has it completely figured out, and we are all just doing our best to stay alive and (mostly) thrive.
There is No One “Right” Way
These past few years, especially during the Covid era, it seemed like the world was inundated with people who believe there is only one right way to be, live, and believe. It seemed like each individual I had even a casual conversation with wanted to demand their knowledge and proclaim it’s “rightness.” As if their opinion is the best opinion and all opposing beliefs are unequivocally “bad” or “wrong.”
This was very annoying to say the least.
If one person is “right” in exactly all their many and varied beliefs then that means every other person on this planet is “wrong.” And that just doesn’t make sense.
The truth is, there are many “right ways” and it is all the “right ways” that create such a beautiful and diverse Earth that we live on.
I am putting “right” and “wrong” in quotations because I actually don’t believe in right or wrong (here we go, another opinion to add to the mix). But hear me out. We don’t live in a world that is black and white (and trust me, it took all of my twenties to understand this). We ALL live in the gray zone.
Humanity is the vast gray space between the extremes. Life is so nuanced, complicated, and complex. People don’t fit into a neat and tidy box. It is impossible to be one way all the time (and trust me, I tried). Everything we do as humans comes from layers and layers of beliefs, experiences, ideas, personalities, backgrounds, traumas, behaviors, etc. And therefore every single opinion we have is completely biased.
So who are you to tell me what to believe? And who am I to tell you how to live?
What if… WHAT IF… we dropped all of that and just connected heart to heart, human to human, soul to soul?
Having the Conversations
When having these conversations that seem to go nowhere fast, ask yourself:
What is at the root of this conversation? Why are we having it?
Why do we both care so much about this topic? Is there something good behind it?
Where is the passion coming from? A place of love or fear?
Is there something in what we’re discussing that we both can agree on? Is there a way to connect?
How can I understand the other person’s perspective just 5% more? 10%?
Can I pull back my own beliefs a little and just listen? Can I provide the space for someone else to be heard, no matter what they believe?
Maybe you feel really strongly about (I’ll just say it) vaccines. And maybe the other person feels really strongly about natural health and their immunity. You both are so stirred up by the other person’s perspective. You want to yell, you want to hang up, shut down, shut off because what this other person is saying is absolute nonsense.
But maybe this time, you do something different. You don’t shut down. You don’t hang up. You don’t walk away. You don’t dismiss it. You don’t throw a fit.
And instead, you soften a little. You relax a little. You lean in a little. You think to yourself, “Why am I so mad?”, “Why am I really upset?”
And you get curious. You wonder, “How did this person get to this belief?”, “In what ways was this person’s life affected in order to arrive at these opinions?” If you can ask these questions with curiosity, compassion is born. If you can view the conversation from a place of really wanting to understand and see through the other person’s eyes, then you can open the door to endless possibilities.
Our Hearts are Expansive
When we drop the need to be right, and instead expand our hearts, we see that there is so much more to discuss and connect on. We see that maybe all the opinionating doesn’t really matter. And what matters is love. What matters is connection. What matters is helping the other person to feel safe to be seen exactly as they are.
Compassion is the portal to understanding, connection, communication, and insight. Compassion allows us to “see” from the heart. To feel what another person might be going through, regardless of what your personal judgements and opinions are.
To really see someone from a place of understanding is love to me. To connect heart to heart and say, “Hey, I am sorry that you had to go through that. I bet that was really tough” is the type of connection I believe I am here for.
Vulnerable communication. Raw hearts bleeding. Skin to skin, cheek to cheek. Whether that cheek is vaccinated, unvaccinated, white, black, brown, washed, or unwashed. We can love everyone exactly how they are and when it comes to the difficult conversations, we can get to know ways to love them more through understanding their unique perspective.
There are as many perspectives as there are people in this world. And when we get caught up in trying to “prove” our perspective “right” or someone else's “wrong” we are getting lost in the minutiae of the matter. We are getting lost in the trivialness of humanness.
When you transcend past just wanting someone to believe the things you believe, you can realize that we are all one creation of God (Universe, Source, Power). Whether or not we agree on where humans came from, we can all agree that we here right now.
Whether we came from The Big Creator, Source of Existence, Person with a Magic Wand, Epic Cosmic Boom, or Aliens from Outer Space, we may never all agree on it, but we can all agree that we are sharing some time in space right here right now and we all want it to be the best ride possible.
We’re All Just Figuring it Out
Even though I have my own core beliefs (that I am a divine cosmic being of light created by a Universal Source Power that directs the flow of life and everything in our existence is connected… humans, plants, animals, dirt), I also equally know that that is not what others believe to be true. And just because I’ve arrived at this knowledge within myself, I cannot expect others to agree.
We are all just spinning on the planet at one thousand miles per hour, not really knowing why we’re here, what we’re supposed to be doing, or where we will go when it’s over. We’ve created all this stuff around us to make sense of our time here. Maybe some of us are just trying to make due with what we have and some of us want to have the most fun possible until time runs out. But we all know that it ends one day. And so how each person chooses to spend this life, what they choose to believe, and the decisions they make to live out their days, is completely and totally up to them. It is their right to be.
So next time you feel the heat rising and the tension of dissonance building, remember what matters.
And when it comes to your own beliefs, ask yourself if the conversation, opinion, thought, belief, or personal truth really serve you. Does it contribute to a better existence for yourself and others on this planet? Is it allowing you to be your most liberated, authentic, and truest self? Or is it keeping you closed off, frustrated, hating, and cold towards others?
Maybe some of our beliefs are dividing humanity even more. Maybe some of our beliefs are not allowing us to connect and communicate with an entire group of people. How can we change that?
In what ways can we relax some of these beliefs? In what ways can we soften around some of these ideas? How can we open more? How can we let more in? How can we be more expansive?
Because for me, my purpose on this planet is to Love, to Grow, and to Flow. And how can I do these things if I’m constantly meeting others with resistance? How can I truly love another if I can’t even get past who they vote for?
We’re all just figuring it out. Every conversation and every connection is just another stepping stone on the path of life that leads us towards a greater understanding of humanity. No one knows what they are doing. And if they say they do, they are probably trying to sell you something.
So let’s all relax a bit, stop trying to make others see exactly how we see, and just sink into a little more acceptance for others.
We got this!