(*** This picture was taken this morning on my back deck. Because Canada! I call it “barbecool”.)
So one of our members, debbiedarlen, asked this question:
I have a question! Do you have any advice about relating to people who seem to find tremendous comfort living out their lives inside of their own personal “God Box”? I have family & friends who orient their whole life around particular theological views (Mormon, Buddhist, Catholic, Agnostic, Atheist, etc). If they are comfortable and happy with their particular world view – might it be the best idea to “step into their world” to maintain the relationship rather than pushing against it in an effort to be honest and authentic?
- First of all, I endeavor to respect wherever people are at. I firmly believe we are all experiencing the same thing but through the lens of our own perspectives, experiences and thoughts, and that we all endeavor to articulate this through our own particular language. On top of this is all the emotional investments attached to it. I and others are the same. They are in their worldview just like I am in mine. Knowing this brings great peace of mind and freedom of action.
- Next, I also respect where I am at. I do not apologize for where I am at just like I don’t expect the other to apologize for where they are at. If I see obvious error, especially when it inflicts pain on others, I will not hesitate to state my case. I hope they would do the same for me. It’s called mutuality. This is how a healthy rather than a dysfunctional relationship would work.
- Then, true relationship is based on honesty and authenticity… the two words you used. If I can’t handle the authenticity and honesty of others, then why should I expect others to give that to me?
- Finally, I do not try to change them. I don’t want them to try to change me. True change happens when we ourselves see the absolute necessity of it and do it because we must. We have no choice. Seldom does it happen out of arguing, pressure or demands.
Of course, this makes every conversation like a dance. It must be done carefully, respectfully and honorably. But each one has to do their part. And have fun!
Hope this helps!
(Do you have a question? Email me!)