Anyone else have a hard conversation this weekend? Yah. Me too. #metoo, #believewoman, #confirmkavanaugh and all the other hashtags…
For those of you who live with teenagers, this is our lives all the time. My children agree with me 35% of the time and that number is totally influenced by whether or not we are at home or enjoying Steak and Shake Happy Hour together.
It is a daily occurrence to say the thing I’ve always said about this or that and all of sudden I get called out, challenged, and asked to explain myself. When it’s about why Brown Sugar Pop Tarts are delicious or disgusting, it’s fun. When it’s about the #Metoo movement, it’s different.
I have absolutely changed my mind, grown in my understanding, and found myself to be wrong more than once recently and I’m very grateful. It’s not easy. No one likes to give ground on important matters, but there is a flexibility in my Spirit where they are concerned. Because I love them. Because I know them. Because I can appreciate how differently they are experiencing the world. Because I value staying in relationship with them, come what may.
Flexibility of Spirit is not the same as, “Whatever you say.”
It means I’m willing to travel down the road with them for a long, long, while before I decide whether or not I want to live where they live on some issue. It means doing the emotional and intellectual stretching it takes to understand something from the perspective of someone 25 years younger than me.
It means not dismissing their opinions as simply immature, because sometimes their opinions are creative and intelligent new connections I simply can’t make quickly because of well-worn paths in my own spirit and mind.
Sometimes they are wrong and immature. No doubt. My two oldest left for school today wearing matching Bob Ross t-shirts and floral bandannas on their heads. My youngest prefers the new Voltron animated series to the vintage, 80’s series, (I mean, obviously.)
A lot of times, just the process of sorting out where there is natural concensus and where there is sometimes surprising differences in our thinking and in our values is just good work. We obvioulsy don’t always agree, but I hope we are growing in demonstrating respect and love even in our differences.
I’m just challenged by how willing I am to go there with them and how unwilling I can be to go with other humans, even for just a few steps into their perspective.
Love is the variable.