I struggled with what to write about today. So I am going out on a ledge here and just writing what tumbled through my head as we took a walk today.
I recently attended a workshop that is aimed at helping our church select a new minister.
So my thoughts today have been about how open is my mind really? I really thought I had a pretty open mind. But really leaving what you were raised with and embracing a totally different thought process is hard work. I doubt I will ever really be done working on that. I am constantly having to stop and think and explore is this really how I feel.
Some things I don’t struggle with. Somethings I fully embrace and leave behind the restrictions of the past. I fully embrace gay/lesbians getting married , having kids, being “gasp” normal people. I fully embrace people of all color and race and try to keep family members thoughts separate from my own. To look at each person as their own person not based on skin color. That while I would not consider myself atheist I would also not classify myself as a christian. The way we have been raised makes a difference. The whispers that run through our mind. That’s what I struggle with the most. When will those whispers fully go away?
The trick has been to know when the whispers are your thoughts and when it is spoon-fed rhetoric that you were brought up on.Taking time to stop and examine each part of our lives, not just religious part, and accept and own how we feel.It took me years to really know how I felt about gays and lesbians. It was a hard subject to talk about because it was not talked about in any kind of positive light growing up. Neither was mental illness or poor people or black people or middle eastern people or other religions.
So openly talking about my own mental illnesses and looking at it and talking about it in a positive light. That has really stretched my boundaries and really opened my mind. Living with and adjusting to living with multiple invisible illnesses and being open to talking to others about that. The boundaries were again pushed.When our boundaries are pushed we are often uncomfortable. I know when I am uncomfortable I either get very grumpy or retreat into myself or both.
Now when something makes me uncomfortable I tend to stop, think about why its making me uncomfortable. In the past my response was always to run. Run as fast and as far as I could from it. Deny it was happening. Deny that I felt that way. Now when something makes me uncomfortable ,that instinct to run is still there but also a curiosity. Do I know everything I need to know about that subject? Can I expand my knowledge of it? I have often found that finding unbiased information about whatever is making me uncomfortable is a great way to analyze how I really feel.How I feel….not how my parents feel….not how my closest friends feel…..how I feel.
I have found that where I thought I was open minded I am not so much. Where I thought I was narrow minded I am more open. Some of it surprises me. Some of it not so much.
So my end thought in all of this is that I plan on stretching my boundaries a bit more regularly than I have been. That as a parent I feel this is my responsibility to my daughter. Just as important as feeding and clothing her, so is enriching my mind and really embracing what I believe in with knowledge. That maybe if she sees me doing this and being open about how it makes me feel, it will help her to do the same. That she won’t think that when you are an adult you stop growing, stop learning. So that maybe she won’t have those whispers to distinguish between her thoughts and other thoughts. So that maybe her first instinct is not to judge.