kindness

Crossings…

Once upon a time…
Some people were wandering in the wilderness. They had been seriously lost. They had wandered for a generation and had begun to believe that they would never find their way out. Finally, they got to where they could see where they were going. They could see the goal that they had begun to believe they would never reach but, there was a river in the way. That brought their dreams to a crashing halt but, their holy men prayed and they were given an answer from their God. He said, “I will make a path through the water and you will set monument stones where you walk that path through the river.” They agreed. They had the leaders of their tribes set those stones in the middle of the river where they had walked on dry land. Then their God closed up the river over those monuments leaving them unseen except for in the memories of the survivors…

Now, no matter what happened, they couldn’t cross back and they couldn’t disregard the importance of honoring the monuments their God had instructed them to place. They didn’t know what the future would hold, only that their past was closed to them…

Our lives are like that. Sometimes we face obstacles that seem unpassable. We get to the edge and don’t know what to do. We can see where we need to be, it’s right over there,but, we can’t see a way to cross to it…and then something changes…

I was faced with one of those places recently. I have had issues with trusting people, with believing that they will remain true to what they say. I have friends that have helped me get to the edge of the river by showing me that THEY could be trusted but, that was hard won, like the journey leading to the river. Still, I wanted to keep my distrust because it’s safer that way…and something happened. Just like in the story, one more person came along and changed things. They changed it by trusting me first…

The story shows, to me, a bunch of other things…

It shows me that, once crossed, we can not go back to our past…

It teaches that, although we fear the river might close up and swallow us, it is better to cross and begin again, no matter our fears.

It also lets us know that those crossings aren’t done alone. They asked their God for help and crossed with each other…

We don’t always see those crossings. Sometimes we look back and realize we did cross.

Sometimes the milestones and monuments differ. Some are places in time. Others are locations or objects. The most important are the people that help us and we keep them in our memories and hearts forever.

In the end, the best monuments are the memories of the times that a person neither pulled or pushed but, took our hand and walked along side. They are never seen but, exist to this day.

I have my Stones. I do them Honor by both remembering them, they are with me always, and not going back to who I used to be.

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Don’t Use Those Words Again, Please

Ok, I’m having one of those moments when I need to say something in public to random strangers…I need to make sure that, by saying in public what I would say in private, that my words are not so easily dismissed.

I have a friend that I’ve written a few blogs for or about. I have no need to lie to her or pander to her whims. There is zero monetary or personal gain for me from telling her things just to make her feel better and, besides, that isn’t me. I have told her things I am SURE she didn’t want to hear. So, when I compliment, it is the absolute truth…well, there is my own bias which could, perhaps, color my subjectivity…

So, let’s begin. Do you do things that concern me? Yes and we’ve talked about them at length so, there’s no need here. Are you perfect?

Are you perfect? Nope, but, not one single human is. Yes, you are able to be opinionated and angry at times…just like every other human on the planet…

Now, for the reason, I’m writing. You say things that I wish you wouldn’t. You describe yourself with words that make me sad. I’m not a sad person by nature so, when I am, there’s a good cause…

Lately, you have used the words “slut”, “whore”, “easy lay”, and “fat” as descriptions of yourself.

*sigh*

I don’t know how to convince you that you are not correct. You are just not correct.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying sex. Period. That you do doesn’t make you an object. It makes you human. Those first three descriptors are words that make me think that you think of yourself as an object, an item to be used and discarded. You are not. End of story.

You are also not “fat” or any other negative. You do exercise. You swim, run, and row. You are in good physical shape. You might argue that you could be in better shape. So could everyone. I’m thin as a rail because of an accident of genetics, not because of anything I actively do.

Maybe you believe my rebuttals to your words or maybe this will make my point better…

*remember the part about no free compliments, remember those words when you read these*

You know I never had kids and you don’t fill that spot in my world, for two reasons. First, because being called “daughter” has bad connotations to you. Second, because you aren’t in that spot. You are a trusted and loved friend. Having said that, if you were my daughter, I couldn’t be prouder of you.

Do you realize what you’ve done?

You were smart enough and brave enough to leave an abusive relationship at a great cost to yourself. You have realized you made some mistakes and are taking steps to quit them forever. You see and confront your demons every day and push them farther back into their cage. You have not judged ME for what I’ve done, let me share my demons with you, and helped me face mine while dealing with your own. You have become, without intent, one of the people I trust…and you know how rarely I give that.

Those words that you use about yourself, please don’t. Those mistakes you think define you, you aren’t them. You are defined by your triumphs…not your defeats.

When the haters and the voices judge you, remember my words, not theirs…My words will tell you that you do have worth. They will say that the PERSON you are is valuable. That your soul is untarnished. That you are needed for something that isn’t tangible, your mind. That the world is a better place for having you in it. That, just by existing, you make me smile.

My words will tell you that you do have worth. They will say that the PERSON you are is valuable. That your soul is untarnished. That you are needed for something that isn’t tangible, your mind. That the world is a better place for having you in it. That, just by existing, you make me smile.

Like I said up there,those words you said about yourself,  please never use them again. You are not them. Not before, not now, not ever. I may not be objective but, you earned my subjective view.

I may not be objective but, you earned my subjective view. To me, you’re irreplaceable.

 

I Don’t Care

I have a thought wandering around. I hope it makes sense. Follow along and see if you can read what I really mean…

“I don’t care” sounds harsh, and it can be. It can mean apathy or disdain. It can mean a lack of concern for another human…

“I don’t care” can also be the kindest words you can ever say to another person…

I don’t care…what you did in the past.

I don’t care…who you were.

I don’t care…that you made mistakes.

I don’t care…what you see…

I care that you survived. I care that you are someone else. I care that you grew. I care that you exist in the World. I care, and I am glad, you invited me in so I can say, “I don’t care what you, or anyone else, thinks. To me, you are valuable and loved”

Perhaps, we need more “I don’t care…”

Wandering Around in My Head, or Coffee and Gratitude

*grins*

Have I mentioned that the inside of my mind is an odd place? Yeah, I suspect more than twice…

I write about people. Sometimes FOR them. Sometimes TO them but, always about them…well, not really to me…unless you count talking to myself typing as “to” me. *grins* *sigh* In the old days, before the internet, I used to write this stuff out on paper…then throw it away. Long conversations with “someone” of just myself…that I wanted people to read but, never shared. Now I just put in on WordPress. *grins again*…*sighs again*

The thing is, they all have something in common…well more than one, gender comes to mind as a second but, that doesn’t matter…crap, more than one that does matter but, that’s for further down the page…they challenge my perceptions. They make me push the limits of what I think. Not all in the same ways or directions but, all push the edges farther from my nice comfortable middle.

It’s funny, in a way, the people that push me away from that are the ones I want closest, to keep a spot for, if they want it or need it, deep inside, away from the edges. Someplace safe…just while they have made that bigger by making the boundaries expand. I suppose that’s why there’s room for them to begin with? When the borders expand, their center becomes larger…and MINE does, too.

They kick my complacency in the head. They give me two choices, accept them the way they are, unapologetically the way they are, or don’t but, if it’s “don’t” then don’t waste any time sticking around. I stayed.

Maybe that makes me a glutton for punishment…or it makes me smart…

I love them for that.

See, the other thing they have in common is that I love them exactly for themselves. Each unique one of them.

There are 7 odd billion people on the planet. There are 4 that I’m talking to…

Ladies,
You are wild and wonderful, wise and brilliant. You, each one of you, are unique…and precious. You have caused growing pains and with them, growth, my growth. You have made the space for yourselves bigger and by doing that, made me bigger. I didn’t know I needed you when you wandered in but, can not imagine being me without you. Thank you for letting me into your worlds. Thank you for being in mine. I may not spend every second of the day thinking about you but, every day I spend some seconds. You make me think “it’s good to be me”. I hope, that in some way, I’ve been able to give you back the tiniest fraction of what I’ve gained. You…and my wife…are what make my life worth living.
Love,
Miller

*****

Cheap, free, advice, you don’t have to let everyone in but, someone. Trust an old grouch with “issues”. People are the only gift that’s of any importance. Everything is just something you buy.

 

…And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

Being me is an odd place for some values of that word. To say that I have “trust issues” puts it mildly. I compartmentalize people. I am willing to share bits of what I think as the situation demands. I can tell people about the events of my past but, not the “internal” stuff that goes along with them. I guard, with a passion bordering on paranoia, my emotions from the chance of hurt. I will readily push away anyone that I think might cause emotional distress, won’t even think twice about it. Poof, gone. I “run like hell” at the first sign of a chance that I might be coming close to allowing more than superficial trust.

*sigh*

It’s part of being me. Not the best part but, something that exists. Sure, I’m capable of affection and care but, not close enough that affection could be something greater.

So, imagine my surprise, and “distress”, lacking a better word, when earlier this week, someone I sort of knew reached out to me and I replied, just expecting them to vent and be done. I’m a good listener and keep secrets. *editorial, if you ask me not to tell something, I NEVER do* So, she asked if she could “rant” to me. I don’t know why she picked me, not sure she does. We have sort of talked. I knew some of her past. I’ve even blogged about some of it, in a guarded way, in the past when I was talking about how women are treated by men. I digress…

Then the unexpected happened, she started telling me stuff that she really doesn’t tell people. I went from random outsider to, “these are the ugly bits, the private bits, the fears, what cha gonna do with them?”…

And I freaked out. Completely out.Buggy. “Danger Will Robinson”. “RUN AWAY!” out.

I started to. run I mean. I went back into “survival mode”. Was in the process of convincing myself that survival was the best plan. That the old instincts that had served me so well, were the best instincts. That trust is “a fool’s game”. I really wanted to run. I didn’t want to allow the off chance that my fears were correct. I wanted to take the empathy I was feeling and get rid of it. I wanted to not allow the tiniest chance that I might be hurt. I wanted to be ENTIRELY selfish…

So, I didn’t do any of that.

I put some demons to bed by deciding, to consciously allow trust. By deciding to skip the middle bits and go straight to *word for the week* *smile thingie* storge. It’s the Greek word that means ” the love that friends feel for each other… Storge love is unconditional, accepts flaws or faults and ultimately drives you to forgive. It’s committed, sacrificial and makes you feel secure, comfortable and safe.”

What the hell? If I’m going to risk trust and hurt, why not risk everything. Remember those parts a few paragraphs ago about “trust issues”? If that’s hard, why not make the hardest step?…

And I freaked out…again…lather rinse repeat…a couple more times…

And, in the mean time, because of what she has shared, I am, with her permission, writing blogs that are solely about her, these two The Worth of a Soul and Redefining a Person thinking to myself, “what a s**t head you are that you would write to serve a purpose and then run away”. I had accepted her trust, shared my demons in return, and I STILL couldn’t decide to run or stay…and I found myself writing this one Feeding the Demons. In the last one, I made a public statement of commitment. Hard to retract that.

*****

It’s part of my own healing process. I was trying to help her because I am a nice guy…and slammed into my own baggage. That’s the odd thing. I may be helping her but, the reaching out that she started made me face my fears. She didn’t do it intentionally. I think that if she had realized the anguish it was going to cause she wouldn’t have. She can be many things but, cruel is not one. There was no intent to cause stress for me in her. My “public face” is confident and sarcastic. I can be a vocal person. I like to talk. I just don’t like to reveal much. *here doesn’t count. typing at a screen is talking to myself*

She uses the word “test”. We are both being tested in this case. Her’s is, will she decide I’m unneeded and leave when my usefulness is over?

Will she find herself thinking I require too much effort when she has no energy to spare? I wouldn’t blame her if she did.

Mine test  is different. It is,  if she does, how will I react? What if she does walk away? What if she doesn’t need my insecurities while dealing with her own “stuff” and does the smart thing, tell me to “eff off”? Will I say, “yeah, I was right, never trust anyone that hasn’t proven themselves”, “don’t become attached to friends because they ALWAYS let you down”? Or will I try again, knowing the risk?

In the end, only time will tell. Ask me in a year how it went. Ask me in 5 how she’s doing. Check back and see if some demons have finally been put to rest. Yeah, I’m still scared that I made a mistake but, I have to take the chance. I have to try to learn. I think that I have found a person that will not fail the test, I just hope that person is me.

Some Not Really Connected Thoughts…

Still thinking…

When we decide that we are “sitting in judgement” are we really doing what is right? We have an obligation to decide what is criminal, meaning causing harm to others, but, what about other actions? What about someone’s beliefs? Someday, I’ll stand before my maker and have to talk about MY life, not yours.

When we presume to judge the condition of someone’s soul, we are taking from God, that power and responsibility. We, as Christians, are warned against that. We are told, specifically, that the same standard we use will be used on us. If we judge based on our perceptions of “flawed” are we so very sure that His perception of “flawed” will not include some aspect of us? Are ANY of us so perfect that every bit of us can stand the scrutiny that we apply to others?

I KNOW I could not pass that test…

*****

Divination scares me. Rituals scare me. So, I don’t practice them. Makes you wonder why I am so protective of Witches? Because Witches don’t scare me. I know too many. I just don’t ask them about the ritual aspects.

*****

“With great power comes great responsibility”

We, each of us, has the power of life and death. We believe that our own view is the most important. We know that we, ourselves only,  are unique.

So, what do we do with that? Do we use our “power”, meaning our innate sense of self and value, to condemn, in our view, others for being “not us” and not “unique” or do we recognize that other people are just as individual?

That’s the question…and the power. We may recognize that people have the same rights of self and individuality that we so strongly claim or we may remove them from humanity, and life, by piling them into a group that we think are less than us and giving them “death”.

To trivialize someone for their belief is to take away from our own. To claim significance for ourselves and say that our view stands above the rest minimizes our beliefs just as we do to them. Being the biggest algae in the pond is no accomplishment. I’d rather stand among peers of strong faith and belief…even if I do not share them…than be just another green slime claiming to be king…

*****

These were just some stuff that bounced around. My life, out here, was busy for a couple of weeks because of work. Feel free to ask me stuff. I’ll answer. We might disagree. I might become defensive because I do “cherry pick” the Bible. I believe that we all do. We take the parts we want and “disregard the rest” to paraphrase Simon and Garfunkle…

I’ll leave you with this, my views are valid…for me…I’ll defend your right to your perspective, even if I don’t share it.

Respect and Dignity…

*sigh*
I’ve been writing FOR Pagans lately. My posts seem, to me, to be harshly critical of “my faith”…or could be perceived that way. I need to clarify. I AM Christian. I love Christianity and the “words in red”, meaning HIS words. My disputes and disagreements aren’t with the Faith, it’s with the way SOME, not all, Christians practice and express it…

My own life and path have not been perfect, far from it…

I have been Christian, then atheist and addict, then “Fundie” Christian, and now Heretic Christian. I’ve wandered around trying to figure out where it all went together…and still do. My Faith is a big part of my life and world view. It is something that I spend a large portion of my mental time, when the stuff that involves work, life, and wife, allow me to think. Last thing before I sleep I’m thinking about it and first when I wake up. Quiet moments in my day and driving are filled with thinking about it…and where I fit into it…

*sigh*

Instinctively I seek the middle ground. My life as an addict was not one of “moderation”. Now it is. I am distrustful of strong emotionalism. I am suspicious of faith that is based on ecstasy. I also distrust faith that says, “if you’re not one of us, you MUST be against us”. Again, that does not make me anti-Christian but anti-extremist. I become concerned with harsh judgmentalism and wonder if those that carry that belief are not more self-centered than faithful…and I know that I am guilty of that, too. I AM self-centered, petty, jealous, rude, mean-spirited, and harsh. I am fully capable of all the things I try to write against, no matter how hard I try to keep from being them.

Respect is earned by being given. It is a truth of life that we get what we give. Kindness begets kindness. Respect for someone’s faith gains respect for our own. Treating people with dignity returns that to us…

There HAS to be a middle way. I am not, and will never be, Pagan but, there are parts of that path that I understand. I do not know the rituals and magics. I don’t want to know, not my business. I do know that the traditions of herbalism and lore were also an accepted part of Christianity. I know that we, Christians, also seek insight into the mind of God through prayer. There is no direct Pagan analog but, there is seeking understanding of the supernatural. We claim that their faith is “made up” or “fiction” yet, theirs predates ours.

*sigh*

I know a bunch of Pagans. That was an accident. I didn’t seek to know ANY. They are just people. They are just as imperfect as anyone…Of course, I accidentally know a bunch of Christians and we are an imperfect set, too…

Why do we think, as a general question, that our specific beliefs give an exclusive lock on morality? What makes us so presumptuous as to believe that our way is the ONLY way and every other one is wrong? Again, middle ground, I have been mistaken. I do NOT know everything and have no particular insight into the minds of others and no way of knowing the inner workings of the mind of God…”but, Miller, the Bible says…” Yes, it does, and we don’t speak the language it was written in, some words do not directly translate, and are we sure that the translators did not have their own agenda? Not to mention that I am SURE that Jesus spoke more words than were written down. Who knows what else He said?

I’m looking for a modus vivendi, a way of living that includes rather than excludes. I want faith to be respected. Yes, specifically, Christians and Pagans finding mutual respect and peace are the end goals.

I write these to both Pagans and Christians…

*sigh*

…even though it seems that few Christians read these. I had to learn because I was faced with a human that isn’t Christian and, yet, she  is someone I love and respect. It is my hope that we can find a way to interact that allows both paths to flourish. I want MY beliefs to be treated, by Pagans, the same way I want theirs to be respected by us…

They are not a bunch of “damned heathen Pagans with their silly made-up, comic book, magick, and divinations”. They are Witches. We are Christians. They do practice magic and divination. We pray. They are not “damned” any more than we are. They are merely different…and that adds color to our world.

*****

My reasons ARE selfish. I want respect for my beliefs. I want respect for my best friend’s. More importantly than the respect, I am proud and protective of her. I want for her to not have to hide or be cautious. Just as I am able to say, “I’m Christian” and not expect any repercussions, I want her to be able to say “I’m a Witch” and not worry about her job or safety. I have found that HER community is more accepting of my belief than mine is of hers. I see the wrongness in that because her’s are the older set and we are the upstart.

Changing the World isn’t easy. It happens one person at a time…7 billion times. I do not expect to finish the task in my life…nor do I have any reason to suspect it’ll ever be done…I do have to try, though. I have my words. I have my prayers. I have a friend that walks along side that gave me hope that change could happen, it did in me.

Respect and dignity are not too much to ask…

 

What Difference Does It Make?

I have a question. It’s rhetorical so y’all can just ponder it a bit. Ask yourself, “what difference does it make?” before you find something objectionable.

Look at like this, Christians, me in my past included, found “fault” with people. We see what we perceive as “flaws” or “sin” and use that as grounds to object to the whole of the person. Take, specifically, two of my closest friends. One is Pagan, the other Lesbian. I would see the first as “flawed” and the other as the personification of “sin”…Then I applied the question…

Sure, Aj is flawed. All humans are. It’s just that her faith isn’t a flaw in her and only makes a difference to me when we try to communicate concepts that seem simple to her and are hard for me to understand. In that case, Paganism isn’t the flaw. The problem lies on my difficulty trying to apply my views and mental construct…

On the other hand, Z does sin, as a Christian she would be the first to admit it. It’s just that who she’s attracted to isn’t the one that either she or I see as the sin. *editorial, I freely admit being a heretic so, object to my view as you wish. We’ll just disagree* Sin, the Christian concept applied to Christians, is an inescapable part of our condition…

Anyway, back to the original question, what difference does it make? Say, for example, I was of an inclination to object and act on my objections. That I further decided I had a right to do that. Why? Would it be worth the stress that it would cause to find fault and ways to retaliate against people that mean me no harm? What part of the kindness and love that Jesus taught does hateful rhetoric, prejudicial action, or blatant discrimination show? How would I persuade someone to see my view if, by my actions, thoughts, and words, I pushed them away? It would make a difference because I had failed, not them.

What difference does it make? A huge one, just not to you but, to them.

So What?

I read an article the other day about some guy that had won a Silver Medal in some Olympic event and finally decided to come out. My first thought was “so what?” Maybe I’m missing something or maybe I’ve written so many of these that it just doesn’t make any difference to me but, why is that news. It’s like me coming out as balding. Yeah, I’m losing my hair. It happens.

Let’s veer for a sec. What constitutes morality? Is it who you sleep with?Is it who or how you worship? Or is it, in the words of Dr King, “the content of their character”?

I do not equate gender preference with morality. In fact, I don’t even equate the dogmatic belief that premarital sex is immoral. Yeah, I know that flies in the face of what I am supposed to believe as a Christian. I get that I could, and probably should, be accused of “cherry picking” the Bible. I also do not equate having the same faith as mine as being the only exclusive path to morality. I know and love some “godless heathens” that are the most moral people I know. *editorial, they would say they have many gods*

Morality, as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, is “descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or, some other group, such as a religion, or accepted by an individual for her own behavior”. For my own use and for the values I hold, being LBGT or “not Christian” is not immoral. To me, it is far more important that someone is truthful, honest, loving, compassionate, and kind.

So, back to where I started way up there. If the guy had come out as a closet jerk that was mean to people, I’d have cared. If he’d admitted to being mean and hypocritical because he said he was a good guy and was not, that would have been a big deal. If he’d said he was a spousal abuser and had no remorse or intent to change, huge problem. He’s gay? Yeah yeah, now tell me something important. Society needs to grow up. Intrinsic traits need to stop being stigmatized or sensationalized. Bottom line is, who you f**k or how you pray is your business. It affects you and your family. We don’t have any business caring one way or the other. We need to know your character.

*****

I hope this made sense. I am not trying to say “don’t ask, don’t tell”. I am also not minimalizing the struggle he had. I am trying to say that we, outsiders, need to look at the person and base our views of them on that.

Some of the people I hold most dear and keep in my prayers had these struggles. They faced having to come out. I love them and respect them. I just don’t care that they are not straight or not Christian. I love the whole of them and pray that they are safe, not for them to change.

 

 

 

note to self

 

I’ve been writing this post over a period of several days. I’m leaving it “rough” because it was really intended to be a note to me. It turned into a “real” post. It is barely edited and going to stay that way. Guys, I’m beat. Tired. Worn out. These are what has come out of my head. Sure, it’s a post about people that are LBGT.  It’s also about a specific person and it’s really a post about us. How do we see people and how do we see ourselves. If we don’t find a reason to stop our fear of people that are different, we, collectively, are going to implode. We gotta find common ground, please.

*****

It starts out with the notes I was working from. It seems disjointed after that because I didn’t do any editing or try to make it completely connected…

It drifts off at the end and that’s gonna have to be enough. Thanks for reading it.

*****

more honey than vinegar…gently persuade…patience…time…less stress about people not seeing what I see…want to build a bunker with concertina wire and protect Z but, CAN NOT…Z more patient than me, gotta learn from her…hearts and minds…fight reaction to be a growling dog protecting The Muse…

*****

These are the things The Muse wants me to do. She wants me to realize that people won’t change just because the Law did. She wants me to be patient and try to change “hearts and minds” with kindness and being non-confrontational.

It’s hard for me. I do take words that are directed at other people than her as being directed at her. My instinct is to protect her from those words and perceived hurts. My desire is to shelter. Given my way, I’d be a dog, growling at everyone I thought came close to not loving her.

I know that’s not fair to her. She can defend herself. She is more than strong enough and completely capable.

She’s protecting me. She’s trying to make me understand that I don’t need the stress. That the frustration is not good for me. She’s trying to change my “heart and mind”. See why she’s such a Treasure. This is why. I write for and about her and she’s my protector, too…A couple of stories…

During May and June, we had a bunch of storms and flooding. Here, D/FW, it was particularly bad. I’m used to it, at least as much as you can ever be to Tornado Warnings. She was constantly calling and praying. One night we were talking and lost the chat because a lightning strike close by dumped my internet. I wasn’t worried. Again, I’m kind of relaxed about the whole thing. It either hits and is a total loss or it’s a miss. SHE, on the other hand, was worried as she could be. I had to phone her up and let her know everything was fine, just a lost signal…See what I mean, protecting me…

‘Nother part of me is that I tend to stress and worry about random stuff. In an absence of knowledge, my mind races along ’till it’s close to twisting outta control. Not a good trait of mine. I let myself wind up. I tend to inflict it on her and my wife. She peels me off the ceiling. Lets me rant and then reminds me to calm down. That it’ll be ok. Helps me to realize my fears and worries are unfounded…

My Protector helps me to be a better husband and person by doing something that isn’t her job. She’s not my wife or girlfriend so, it can’t be part of what one of those would have “signed-up” for. *editorial, no girlfriend for me, ever. I’m married and faithful* She allows me to use her as a safety valve. To dump MY stress on her. To relate my nightmares to her so I can be a bit saner. She prays for me every day and, usually, is praying for stuff that I didn’t realize I needed ’till it happens. My world is safer because of Z…

It’s an odd role reversal. I mean, these words and posts have been to help her and make her world a better place. They’ve been to build her up. That’s in here and out there. They’ve been to tell her that, to me, she’s a Hero. I’m sure she doesn’t think she is. I do. Thing is, she makes my world a better place. She builds me up. She never lets me get away with saying that what I’ve done *see previous posts about being an ex meth addict* is not also worthy of praise, too. I don’t quite understand but, she treats me like a hero…

So…how do we go about this? How do we change hearts and minds? Bashing people over the head is not working. That is my instinct. To pick up Z, shove her into the spotlight, and shout “how can you fools not love her?” To use her as a bludgeon. She’s right. That is not the way that’s going to make a long-term change.

*sigh*

A “pride” parade didn’t change my mind. A screaming rights activist didn’t give me reason to see the error of my ways. What did was more like the mountains being turned into sand by the gradual actions of the waves. I didn’t have some epiphany. It was a process. It took some years. Lots of baby steps and realizations. Z came along towards the end. She wasn’t the first step but, the last. She was the end of a line of people. She says “educate”. Her life is that way. She teaches by being herself. I should know, it’s how she taught me…

We were friends before I knew she wasn’t straight. Kind of an “how’s that?” moment, right? No context for it. I’m married, wasn’t when we met but, engaged. I didn’t want or need a date, girlfriend, or anything else. She was just someone I talked to sometimes. We’re both “chatty”. Ugh. So, it never really had a reason to be a topic. I was talking to a person and not a potential anything else. When she finally did let me know or I figured it out by reading between the lines, it was a bit of a shock…for about a day. Then my I realized nothing had changed. Same person was still the same person. I mean, we had been praying for each other for a couple of years and I didn’t know. She might have thought I knew? Ask her.

That’s how she “educates”. She lives her life and at some point you realize she’s a person you want in yours. Easy enough, knowing her. Because there’s no context, you don’t realize she’s not straight. Not that she’s hiding it, just no reason to come up. I thought she was a fellow Ally. Then she tells you. She is blunt. At which point you realize nothing has changed in your relationship.

She’s far better at that than I am. I want to shout at people. I want to force them to realize that she’s great. She just goes about her business and lets them figure it on their own.

Here’s another odd thing about the way she educates. Even though she doesn’t like it, she’s far more forgiving of people that dislike her on principle than they are of her. She’ll defend their right to speak against her while she’s snarling mad at them for doing it. That and even though she’ll never admit it, the comments hurt. Still, she keeps defending their right to speak if not their words…

****Break to go to work and stuff. more later******

Here’s what I’m thinking. For me, it becomes a matter of perception. I mean, what do I see when I look at someone? Do I see the part I disagree with and ignore the rest, first? Or, do I do it the other way ’round? Do I see the parts I agree with and ignore the disagree? There are things that I do that Z doesn’t. She doesn’t beat me up with them, she ignores them. Same with me, there are things she does that I can not have in my life. No matter, I just stay away from those things. Make sense, sort of?

She’s human with the same courage and fear as any other human. She’s capable of the same soaring triumphs and crushing defeats. She’s a mother, daughter, cousin and friend. She can be as soft as a cloud and harsh as sandpaper. She’s just the same as every other Mortal. Her fears and frailties keep her up at night…just like mine…Her shoulders carry me along when I want to quit. Human, no more and no less…That’s what I see and am glad for it.

Everyone is the same way. No two people fit the same mold. There are always things we wish people would change.

*****

While I’m writing this, here’s another thought. We, Americans, are constantly, me specifically, saying what we are against. Maybe we can think of what we are for. I’ve written all these words for Z. I’ve written to her, about her, and for her. My weakness is that I have to struggle against the “us against them” attitude. How do we include? How do we find common ground? How do we say, “you’re different but…so am I.”

I gotta learn that lesson. I gotta learn to not want to lash out. Me, I, need to be more gentle in the way I think and try to teach. Particularly, I gotta do that when my instinct is to protect.  A Wise Woman keeps telling me that I can do more with honey than vinegar. She’s right.

I wish I didn’t write these. More correctly, I like writing good things about Z. What I mean is I wish I didn’t think there was a need for them. I wish that we could find some middle path. That we could agree to reduce our total stress. That we could figure out a modus vivendi and learn to live in peace. I’m idealistic, I know. I keep thinking that we have the ability to set aside our perceptions and see what is really true. I know I struggle against myself with that. It is hard. I had to overcome years of conditioning and prejudice. I do not even pretend otherwise.

*sigh*

I suppose I’m just getting tired. I don’t have the energy to spare on fights that aren’t mine. It could be said that this one isn’t except that it is Z. That, to me, as long as she lives and I do, I have picked her side to be for, not against. Not because she’s a Lesbian but, because of the rest of her. I’m writing for the whole of the person that she is. I wonder if that makes sense outside of my head? That my attempt to persuade to see the whole still includes the parts and says the whole is “greater than the sum”?

Please learn from what I had to learn to do. I removed the good because I wanted to see only what I disagreed with. I based my opinion, not on fact but on my perception. My views were wrong. My excuses, in the end, only let me hang on to anger and stress and changed nothing. She says she “educates” by living her life. Please learn from mine, too. My mistakes don’t have to be repeated.