I have a strong belief that the soul has no gender, race, color, brain size, weight, age, etc. I work daily to look directly into the souls of people and value them for their hearts and not their outer package. And yet, I have become increasingly aware that I am sometimes pretending that I am comfortable with everyone. I can value the soul but yet feel discomfort with who they are, what they believe or the choices they have made. I feel some shame in this, and yet, I have to be honest and confront my discomfort.
I live in a place where people seem to pride themselves in their "forward-thinking," possibly progressive beliefs and lifestyle. If I find myself with a feeling of uncertainty or discomfort, I want to make sure I don't articulate it, it is better to hide it, or I will certainly be labeled as narrow, unfeeling, cold and inflexible. I have married into some Amish roots. I often hear these people referred to as having a very "black and white" and narrow belief system. But the truth is, in my "progressive" community, there is also one right political belief system, one right response to food and response to religion. While I live here because I resonate with many of these beliefs, we are often blinded to that fact that we, too, are narrow at times.
But all I really want is honesty. We need to stop pretending that we have no discomfort with each other. So what is the solution to this? Not to lock ourselves into limiting beliefs or experiences, but to engage in conversation. We need to do "the dig"-into our hearts and minds. Drawing each other into our stories until we are no longer standing on opposite shores, but until we have built a bridge of understanding. It is only when we stand on this bridge, where our discomfort melts, and we develop our beliefs and opinions based on true understanding. This will never happen if we stand on that distant shore and look across the water and say, "I don't really get that person. They make me uncomfortable, so I'll just hide and not admit my feelings." Move....move toward each other. Talk...tell your story. Create a true bond of understanding, and then, formulate your true beliefs.