Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Two Cent musings on being Two-faced

On school grounds and social media sites the world over, the words: 'You two-faced hypocrite blah blah etc etc...' are flung about as if being a two-faced hypocrite is truly something uniquely awful.

Confession time: I'm two faced.

If ever you are tempted to call me that, please feel free. It really isn't a surprise, or an exaggeration. It is absolutely true.

To be honest, I think we are lying to ourselves if we say aren't two-faced. And sometimes, dare I say, I think being two-faced can be a positive thing.

Sure, if someone is consistently nice to you yet speaks badly of you when you are not around but refuses to speak to you about their grievances, that isn't helping anyone.

But I know that as a Jesus-follower I am included by proxy in that 'hypocrite' label. As an idealist who is vocal about her ideals, I am possibly even more likely to earn myself that title. But like I mentioned at the end of my last post - didn't all revolutionaries start out as idealists?

As an example: at the moment I feel like I am undergoing a huge revelation of what it means to love and be loved. I feel like I am learning what it means to leave selfishness behind - to let go of self-vindication and self-promotion and self-protection - to just 'Let it go!' (If you couldn't help singing those words then I'm guessing you have young kids in the house!)

But even as I say that I am learning how to leave self-ness behind, those of you who know me personally can surely think of a bunch of times where I was self-absorbed, or at least not outwardly loving, or where I somehow made you feel unloved or unlovely. I am so sorry. I can't even say with certainty that I didn't mean to at that moment. I have this vindictive streak that pops up every now and then.

So if you were to accuse me of being a two-faced hypocrite I might even be glad. It shows that you know I have ideals that draw me higher than where I am now. If how I lived now reflected my ideals with absolute accuracy, I would be the most pitiable creature!

But I press onto take hold of who I am called to be, grateful that my failures are not held against me by those who matter most. This in turn frees me to love others in spite of their failures. And this love does not guarantee that I will never fail, but that I will be loved anyway. Oh let me love with a love like that!

How to bring out the best in people...

Love makes things growWouldn't we all like to have someone trying to bring out the best in us on a daily basis? And by that I'm not thinking of the proverbial fitness coach shouting 'No Pain, No Gain' in your eardrum every time you check Facebook when you should be working - but someone who lovingly tends to your thorns and your blossoms, your tough branches and your new shoots, with tenderness and consistency.

For example, I know we can't change our spouses, only they can release change in their lives, but I have discovered that there are positive things we can do to bring out the best in them - and our children, friends and colleagues and anyone else we see on a daily basis.

Shaming and blaming, nagging, threatening and cajoling very seldom work to bring about lasting change. At best you may get a temporary behaviour adjustment but not without building resentment and decreasing connection.

So what I'm learning, tentatively but with growing conviction, is that love always wins.

I used to think that I believed it, but I see now that I actually believed that love usually wins - unless there is just too much bitterness or rage or indifference, for too long - then love just isn't quite up to the task. I thought that love truly is the most powerful force for change, except maybe for stupidity... We so often think of love as weak and sentimental - like a cheesy greeting card.

But I am slowly but surely growing in understanding that love - a real, raw, un-self-seeking, scandalously generous love - truly trumps everything. It is the strongest thing there is. Love overcomes even the deepest selfishness.

John Lennon is reported to have said 'Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.'

I would like to paraphrase that: 'Love wins in the end. If love hasn't won, it isn't the end.'

Before you accuse me of being utterly idealistic and out of touch with the real world and demand I have myself committed for such insanity ask yourself this: don't all revolutionaries start out as idealists?

So, if you want to bring out the best in people - Love them!

But how? What does love look like?

Well, good point, what does love look like?

Follow my blog and walk with me as we see where this road takes us.

Friday, 10 October 2014

‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.

I'm tired of 'safe'. I'll take 'good' over 'safe' any day.

I've been told I should write. I'm not sure if it's because people of tired of hearing me yap on about the things that stir fire in my bones, or if they really think I have something worth saying and a reasonably articulate way of saying it. Either way I'll take them up on it. 

Having said that, if one blog could be considered self-indulgent navel gazing, how does it factor in when you have two blogs and a Youtube channel? But, I trust that over time you will forgive me the arrogance of thinking I have something to say that is worth clogging the already saturated blogosphere. On the contrary: I hope that my Two Cent Pearls - the hard won jewels that have sustained me - presented with vulnerability and love and authenticity and passion - will bring you the freedom and joy they have brought me.

 "To her -
Hand in hand we come
Christopher Robin and I
To lay this [blog] in your lap.
Say you're surprised?
Say you like it?
Say it's just what you wanted?
Because it's yours -
Because we love you."
- A. A. Milne - Winnie-the-Pooh

Now I just have to figure out where to start...