If you were to write a book about this year, what would you call it? Or, better yet, what is the number one lesson you have learned so far?
I’ve learned a lot. But one thing keeps coming back to me.
I’ve struggled with connection in my marriage. I’ve thought about why I stay in my religion. I’ve tried hard to respond thoughtfully to people who differ from me politically, or otherwise. I’ve eaten a lot of comfort food, watched a lot of television, and gone back and forth on the person I hope to become.
A few hard and shocking conversations later, I find myself wondering:
- How can they think that?
- Why do/don’t they do this?
- If they _____, then I _____.
- Why didn’t I handle that better?
- Who is in “the wrong”?
But, this week, my perspective began to shift:
Why do I love this person exactly the way they are?
I’m so thankful that God meets me exactly where I am at.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to grow, or that I don’t hope my relationships grow, too.
But, friends, we see what we look for. And, seeing the good changes behavior more profoundly and more sustainably than only seeing behavior in need of a change.
When you look at this year through a mirror, what do you see?
Did you know that Ghandi never actually said, “Be the change you wish to see”? While I appreciate the packaging, the full quote leaves less to be desired in the how and the why:
We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”Mahatma Ghandi
Or, perhaps, another revered teaching:
How wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?”Matt. 7:4 (KJV)
You see, the power to change lies in our perspective.
What we see leads to how we feel, leads to how we act, rather than being acted upon.
When we change our attitude, so does the attitude of the world change toward us.
When we search ourselves for the beam in our own eye and update our perspective from worldly, to godly, the source of our happiness, no matter our circumstance, becomes clear.
What does this have to do with coming as you are?
The trick to learning to see ourselves and others clearly is that we won’t always get it right!
But, a godly perspective teaches us that that’s okay.
Failure is a building block. Rock bottom is not the end. Feeling hurt or angry or done with it all is normal and human and hard, and, sometimes, we don’t have all of the answers.
But we are not alone.
God meets us where we are at, and we do our best to do likewise – with our friends, and, perhaps, more importantly, with our enemies.
The beautiful thing is, when we mirror enoughness, the world follows.
When we mirror grace, the world follows.
When we mirror trying again, the world follows.
When we mirror growth (the natural outcome of getting back up after we fall), the world follows.
So, whatever 2020 looks like for you. Come as you are. Love who you are. Grow in grace. And, may your daily circumstances and interactions follow suit.