We, people, hate being wrong. We love being right.
Being right: means we understand; we're better than the people who are wrong; we're secure; we're able to lead, teach, guide the lost; we're confident; we are "good" and have likely helped other people.
Being wrong: means we're confused; we're worse than people who are right; we're unstable; we're humiliated, humbled; we're "bad" and have likely hurt other people.
We're so very afraid of being wrong. We're so very afraid of not being right. Terrified.
Possibly, the opinions of other people. Maybe, mainly that.
But in a grander sense, I think we all long to do good and to be good. While security and survival are often our instinctual motivations for action (We do, in fact, need to eat. We do need shelter, for we are weak & the world can be unkind) - once our basic needs are met I hope and believe that we all long to be a human being that's net influence is more in the "right" than in the "wrong."
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.” ~
The song "One"
How often do we use our "rightness" in a very wrong way? Pride.
One of my dearest friends, Rachel, shared with me - and I'll share with you this quite rough paraphrase -
"I don't know
how much of our lives
is our own will,
and how much is God's grace.
How much do we really control?
I don't know,
so I can't judge others."
I sit on the hardwood and my favorite blanket, curtains drawn with the radiant sky blessing the room with light.
In distress, I prayed, "I don't know how to be."
A moment. An answer.
"You don't need to know how to be.
I don't need to know how to be, because I am.
The song, "How to be Yours"
The song "Love You Like You Love Me"
Recently, my heart broke.
For the same (or similar) reason it has broken many times before. I found this song floating into my mind today. The lyric,
"get inside your heart and study
and love you like you love me"
could be said to be saying:
1. The songwriter telling the other person that they should get inside their own heart, study it, and love themselves as they love the songwriter (treat yourself the way you'd treat someone you love. Love yourself).
2. The songwriter is saying they should get inside the other person's heart, learn from it, and love the person the same way they are being loved by the person (to be so loved, and to love in return). I find this a fickle interpretation.
Or, where I have settled
3. Speaking to God. Speaking to Jesus. Who "runs into the fire and grabs the wood to build them up again" when I've burnt my bridges...to get inside His heart and study. And love Him like He loves me.
Love God. Love others as you love yourself. The greatest commandment.
Pride and shame.
Power and oppression.
Egotism and egotism.
Pride bites at us and dares to place others beneath. Pride blinds us to our faults.
Shame drags us down, down, down in our own futility. Blinds us to our beauty.
They feed each other and run, chasing each others' tails.
Power to be wielded for what we want. Power to possess, and to possess more. To gain.
Oppression to be separated from what we want. Oppressed to be stolen from, taken from. To lose.
Both are losing. Both are losing. Both chained to the things they have and the things they wish to have. Neither can let go.
Egotism, the great-big-fat "I" being the center of this story and all others at the mercy of the "Me."
egotism, the great-big-fat "others" being the center of this story and all myself at the mercy of "Them."
Both, ultimately, leaving nothing but humans, humans, humans - chained to a law of idolizing thyself or denying thyself.
And yet how often do we consider these ways "right" or "wrong"?
Maybe from reading Galations 3 yesterday. Maybe these thoughts are a slow-cook manifestation of that chapter? Maybe.
How to Be, then?
Maybe, you already are.
Maybe I already am.
And if we could stop judging ourselves and others so harshly for it - we can simply Be with the One who knows our being better than we ever could; Be with the One who is only ever right, even as we have no idea the greater scope of "right" and "wrong" - as we fight our petty, prideful battles with words, actions, lifestyles. Be with the One who is Love. I AM.
Many thanks and much love,