Posts Tagged ‘Anais Nin quote’

We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are. (Anais Nin)

I am at the funeral of a man whose name I have heard for more years than I can count. Yet, I have never met G. He could have had brown, blue, or green eyes, been tall or short, had red hair or none.

Sure, I have created a picture of him in my mind. However, I have met people after hearing only their voices and my predictions have had a zero percent accuracy rate. Chances are, the image I’ve summoned keeps my prediction skills in the same nonexistent category.

I have come to support friends who knew G.

He had a mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia. Yet, he was not his diagnosis. When the people at his church came to know him, they recognized his unique sense of humor. The church members accepted G—as he was. He liked coming to services and being part of something important.

Smoking comforted his symptoms until that comfort turned on him and destroyed his body. One incredible day, with the prayer support of his friends, he gave up a three-packs-a-day habit within twenty-four hours. Too late, but nevertheless a miraculous change had occurred. He knew he had done something for himself.

As buoyed as I am by the beauty of the funeral service, I realize I missed something. I missed knowing G. The casket is closed. If I speak to the man inside, only his spirit may hear. I will not get a response, except in my thoughts and imagination.

I think about the anonymity of the casket. Those who mourn see inside with their memories. I need to listen even closer, and catch opportunities to recognize truth beyond the obvious, the judgments people make without even realizing they are making them.

Sure, a talkative lady with a quick smile is easy to approach. A child next to her who appears to have multiple disabilities may seem to disappear in the crowd—even though the child’s presence is like the ignored elephant-in-the-room. He is not his disabilities.

Sometimes I have no problem saying hello to people with obvious difficulties. Then, at other times I have felt every intelligent thought I have ever had drop away. Opportunities to make connections evaporate, especially when I feel anger in the air.

All of us are of infinite value. I pray to recognize that worth—even in the wrinkled face I see in the mirror. I can be hardest on me.

you are of infinite worth

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You have made some mistakes, and you may not be where you want to be, but that has nothing to do with your future. ( Zig Ziglar )

This post comes after contemplating the nature of arguments:

Strange how often people use the word mistake with a shrug of the shoulders when they talk about themselves, yet accent both syllables when they refer to other people, especially when those folk express opposing viewpoints. We claim these purported errors to be born of ignorance, incompetence, irreverence, or bullheadedness. I’d like to say I’m immune; I’m not. However, criticism isn’t part of my routine. I want to learn as much as I can from the complete picture—and that information isn’t always immediately available at the flip of an emotion.

The way most people feel about almost anything is super-glued to the soul, even if a person claims to be open-minded. Dissolving that bias takes a lot of energy. What we believe we know becomes like the foundation of a house. No one wants to collapse into rubble. Confrontation with someone with a different notion doesn’t lead to truth; it means battle.

I suspect that a sound foundation doesn’t have to be shattered—provided it is built on integrity, honesty, and love. It may need only a few alterations. The problem arrives when it expects the house next door to wear the same shingles.

I sigh as I scroll through Facebook posts that make me grimace, focusing on hate and violence according to my perspective. Then, I realize that the posts that state my beliefs don’t bother me at all. I see their logic. “We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” (Anaïs Nin) While I don’t want to lose focus on World Peace, I don’t want to stop learning from the whole either.

Omniscience isn’t my game, and I don’t want it to be. A daily attempt toward making the world a better place, with a few stumbles along the way? Well, that is another matter.

decorate life with colors


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