Sticking In The Hard Places.

Life is really tough right now and day to day life is full of choices to do the right thing, the best thing, the grownup thing and the wise thing.

It makes my brain full, and there are too many things competing for attention in my headspace.

It was really good to regroup at the feet of my mentor and friend, Wok, yesterday. His words of wisdom and affirmation are like balm to the wounded soul. I’m soaking in Nouwen and getting ready to live in the pain that seems certain of this future.

It’s a process that includes a group of people, and we fill the spectrum in regards to our thoughts and feelings. A friend is trying to win me over to his side of the argument. Late last night I had to confront him and simply ask why he needed to win this argument so badly. He starts arguments about all sorts of things that always end being about this one core issue.

His honest response came, “Because this is so highly likely, that if you could just change your mind about *****, then it would be easier for you.”

but i have never loved the easy road
i like the rocky, turning path
i move around my shadow like the sun
i let the struggle break me til i’m soft
and i rise up the victor in the end
a softer girl than i began

I live in the shadowlands. it’s possible for me to wholeheartedly believe and want the best for someone, to see them fully and wholly embracing who they are. But that doesn’t always mean being on the same side, or in the same team. I can live with that, the holy disagreement. It sharpens our need and dependance on grace. Simply changing our minds is the easy way out for Christians.

Changing our minds probably reads more like burying the truth behind false humility, false grace and a hardness that means we lose something of ourselves. We change our minds, simply choosing not to confront the truth of what we think and feel.

I am not naturally prone to changing my mind. I’m more likely to grow into a new respect, a new belief, a new chapter than I am to change my mind. I prefer my mind to grow into opinions that differ or concur with the previous hypotheses and conclusions. It requires a softer approach to the shadows of grey. A willingness to listen more intently that rapid assumption requires. To truly live in the ‘benefit of the doubt’ means to learn to really listen to what is said, and not said with a fairer eye.

“The cup of life is the cup of joy as much as it is the cup of sorrow. It is the cup in which sorrows and joys, sadness and gladness, mourning and dancing are never separated. If joys could not be where sorrows are, the cup of life would never be drinkable. That is why we have to hold the cup in our hands and look carefully to see the joys hidden in our sorrows.” Henri Nouwen

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