When I was in my twenties and early thirties I thought that everything I knew and believed should be spewed out into a lesson for someone else. You know, because I’m the measuring stick from which you should live your life by. Holy gawd no! If you knew me then you are shaking your head yes, and because I can’t say sorry to everyone I know personally, know that I’m truly sorry. I offended more than I should have. I spoke WAY more than I needed to, and in looking back I divided instead of included, which was not reflective of my hearts desire. I was relatively well studied on topics, issues, platforms etc., that mattered to me. I thought that gave me permission to throw my knowledge, my truth, most of which were just opinions, at the wall, so to speak, to see what stuck. (I was not only looking to change minds, I was searching for connection. I think in a prideful way I was looking for people to notice what I knew. That thought utterly embarrasses me now.) It was like I thought that I had the chalice so I could speak to anyone who would listen. Preach sister, preach, and they would all listen. UHM NO, they were not all listening because they never asked me to talk in the first place.
To illustrate my point I’ll lay out one of my favorite stories for you. (I still uncomfortably laugh when it gets brought up because I’m so embarrassed.) We were travelling with our friends, and my parents, to beautiful Sonoma, California. ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES ON EARTH. Even though I joke about not being fun, some people (VERY FEW) find me relatively fun, and EB gets a little silly with some delicious wine. (INSERT WIDE EYES AND BIG GRIN SMILE, and that’s pretty much me.) I love to see people laugh, even if it’s at me. As the story goes, we were at a really nice winery, which will remain nameless, experiencing an epic wine tasting. BY EPIC, I MEAN EPIC. Think 12 glasses in front of each of us, of old treasures. Let’s just say we ended up there for something like 6 hours. Some of us were learning about the art of wine, the terroir, getting our sophisticated on, while others (just one, this girl) of us had different ideas. There was this darling, young man who was in charge of the wine tasting, we’ll call him Matt. Matt was set to have an awesome work day, because those guys were going to be buy excessive amounts of wine, and in spite of me being there, it’s a fun crew. “Let’s Save The World EB” over here had other ideas. I was going to save Matt’s soul. I’m not kidding, somewhere in my rum dumb, or wine dumb brain, I thought that this was the time to show him the light. You know right there in that cellar he was going to have his ahhh haaaa moment. My smile was going to be his seed. My heart was on fire for Jesus and I was going to talk to Matt about it, right now. RIGHT NOW. Like, who does that? Remember we had been there for 6 hours. Another secret, not so secret actually, about me, is that I have NO FINESSE. NONE. I just say it and then watch the world crumble around me. Not good. So I went stupid right at it. At this point they were simultaneously trying to teach me how to do a ‘Deer in Headlights’ pose, which is what Matt looked like after I opened my mouth, but I can’t do the pose because I giggle too much. Not kidding. Do you think I saved his soul that day? Did he ask me to save his soul? I’m not even capable of saving anyone’s soul. I’m still working on my own. He did end up riding a bull with some sweet (the other two are for sure) ladies but I don’t think he was doing that for Jesus, if you know what I mean. Yeah, no. Can you even believe that those friends still like me, a lot actually, and I’m not sure why, because seriously what was I thinking?
I see me’s in the world today all the time and it makes me feel so sorry all over again.
An old friend posted this today and I loved it.
LIfe is short. Make sure you spend as much time as possible internet arguing with strangers about politics. Word Porn
There are so many people spewing things about. I was one of them! It’s not that the context is bad, but I feel like most people are like Matt. They didn’t ask to hear it. I get it, people want their voices heard. Clearly, I’m all about your voice being heard. I love the passion. I love the knowledge. I love conviction. I still have many of my own same beliefs, but I choose to go about it differently. I think in our plots to do what we deem worthy and just, we forgot to JUST LOVE PEOPLE, not issues. Had I shut my big mouth and been who I am, maybe Matt would have seen a light in me, and maybe, just maybe, he would have asked me a question that could have opened up a dialogue. It took me a long time, like a fine wine, to settle down and to BE who I was instead of having to tell people. The biggest life changer, mind changer, game changer ever is simply: TO LOVE. Love changes hearts, minds, and souls. I’m nervous because too many of us, I’m throwing myself under the bus here too, try to change minds with words and rhetoric instead of loving them right where they are. Compassion and empathy are feelings that require action, a direct result of loving someone and caring about them with your whole heart. If we are being authentically ourselves we will SHOW people who we are and what we believe instead of jamming it down their throats with empty words. Most of the time our words aren’t going to change someone’s actions, behaviors, and beliefs anyway. Our example will. If I met Matt again, (actually I did see him again, I don’t think he remembers me trying to save him, big impact I made) I would have tried to learn the lesson about the fine wine and amazing terroir of the vineyards, that he was trying to teach instead of looking for a contrived opportunity to get my agenda across. I would have listened. I would have been engaged and not just present. His lesson was more about APPRECIATING the complexity, beauty, and structure of the aged wine, not preaching about it. He didn’t give us the words to describe it, he just gave us the wine, and let us use our own words to ask more questions. He gave us the chalice and let the contents speak for itself.