Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Freedom of Being Wrong

"When two people hold diametrically opposite points of view, the truth does not necessarily lie somewhere in between. It is possible that one of them is simply wrong."

Being able to be wrong is a freedom greatly to be sought. There is huge relief in being able to let go, admit fault, make amends and move on. Being right all the time is hard work, really hard work, and being right in an indefensible position is utterly exhausting.

Some of the most rewarding apologies I have made, though, have been ones that I have made when I did not even think that I was wrong; apologies made because the relationship needed for me to make them. The situation was that the relationship was being damaged and I could repair it with an apology, and it was time to “man up” and remember that a relationship is bigger than self.

If you have not experienced that I cannot describe it, but doing that expands one’s sense of self, and cements one’s place in the relationship in way that is far more rewarding than being right.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Thinking Globally

I’m sort of on a kick of the “thinking outside of self” thing lately. It has so many ramifications for expanding my life and reducing the impact of the vicissitudes that life tends to bring along. Those things are just life happening, but it is altogether too easy to take them personally. To ask “Why is this happening to me?”

When I get wet in a rainstorm, it is not because it is raining inside of me. It is raining globally and the rain is falling on me. The rain is not happening to me, it is merely happening, and I am feeling the effect of that global event. I’m not alone, either, others are getting rained on as well.

I cannot make it stop raining, or alter the nature of the rain, but I can mitigate the effect of that rain by carrying an umbrella.

Some things are easy to perceive as global events, others less so. When I can perceive my emphysema, cardiac arrhythmias and Parkinson’s Disease as nothing more, nor less, than life happening, as global events of which I am feeling the effects, along with many others, then the “goodness” or “badness” of those things lies not in the things themselves, but in the nature and degree of their effect on my life. That effect, in significant measure, is within my power to determine.

My spiritual condition is my umbrella. Who I am does not depend on how my body feels or how well it functions. (Actually quite well, all things considered.) Who I am is both more and less central than that; it is the inner me that reaches out, and in reaching out becomes much more than self.