Don’t live your life in a bubble Girl Warrior. Because when you do you rob yourself of the beautiful richness, texture and abundance outside your safe little cocoon. Yes, there are complications and conflicts, tests and trials, stumbling blocks and drawbacks, chaos and confusion. All kinds of messiness and tangled yuck. And there are people. Other people. And not all of them think like you or the ones in your front row, front room, or front line.
Don’t shut down. And more importantly don’t shut others down.
Girl Warrior, it’s critical, now more than ever, to listen to others. Even if they have opposing points of view. Even if they have different opinions. Even if they have different political affiliations. Even if they worship at a different house. Even if they are from a different culture. Even if their skin is a different color. Even if their gender identity conflicts with your ideology. And yes even if their love for another is beyond your comprehension.
Sit among those with different belief systems Girl Warrior. Uncross your arms. Remove the blinders from your eyes. Hold your tongue. Unclench your jaw and fists. Open the window of your mind and the ears of your heart. Prepare yourself for receptivity so you can explore the art of the possible. You might learn something. Not just about them but about yourself.
The goal is understanding and appreciation for the intentions of others. You don’t have to agree but you must disagree respectfully. Strive to honor where another is coming from – where their journey began and what lead them to this space. Resist the temptation to judge, to cast aspersions, vilify or condemn. Instead work towards seeing the world through their lens, from their perspective and vantage point. Again, you don’t have to agree or embrace it. But for your own sake, you should allow yourself to hear it. Only then can you make an honest assessment.
To do this Girl Warrior, you may have to grow a thicker skin, a broader backbone and stiffer spine. You’re not a baby in pampers who needs coddling. You’ve got guts and fortitude. More than you know. Life isn’t always a bed of roses. And you aren’t a delicate flower. You are also wise enough to know the difference between hate speech and freedom of expression. This isn’t about hate but the extension of love and kindness to all humans.
Situations aren’t blatantly and simplistically black and white Girl Warrior. Neither are humans. If you are willing to listen, with an open mind and heart, you just might find that the things you have in common far outweigh the differences.