Working Through My Frustration and music from Justus Proffit & Jay Som-Nothing’s Changed

Is anybody exhausted? I know I am. I am just tired. Tired of explaining my point of view to people who appear to have crossed arms with an apparent unwillingness to listen or grasp another point of view.

“People don’t learn with their arms crossed. Learning is a posture. It’s a receptive way of being. The learning mind is open and curious, willing to do the things that reinforce the assimilation of knowledge. “

The ‘digging in’ of positions and sides with no wavering, informs me you are close minded and have made a choice to stop learning. I don’t last long being around people who have made that decision. Rarely are issues black and white, truth lies within the gray.

After watching the Kavanaugh hearing, I posted this on my personal Facebook page.

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I was honestly surprised people commented pushing back on my personal opinion with these narratives

  1. Dr. Ford is simply a dirty trick from the Democrats.
  2. Dr. Ford is disturbed and her testimony is implausible and not believable.
  3. It is dangerous for women to be able to falsely accuse a man of sexual assault.
  4. Comparing this case to Clinton’s impeachment.

Yes, I have sympathy for Kavanaugh, his family, and friends. I am not heartless. Why do people demonize any opposing opinions?

  1. If it was a dirty trick by the Democrats, why did Dr. Ford have proof of making phone calls and writing a letter to her representative BEFORE his potential appointment? The system failed her. I believe she was genuinely trying to do her civic duty. What did she ever have to gain? I believe there was too much for her to lose. Kavanaugh has so much to gain. Thank heaven for Sen. Flake!  He recognized how polarized our country is and asked for an investigation, the one thing I thought we could all agree on after witnessing her heartbreaking testimony. Perhaps the call for an investigation is a very tiny shift of compromise. I hope it opens a bigger door to the possibility of compromise in other areas.
  2. I have to admit, I feel deep disappointment in anyone who actually watched the entire hearing and came away with the conclusion Dr. Ford was disturbed and not believable. It seems so close minded and cold. I tried to get more on why they felt this way but got nothing except the fear there will be women coming out of the woodwork to falsely accuse men of wrongdoing. Women all over the country are beginning to share their own deeply personal stories of sexual assault, and the similarities to Dr. Ford’s experience are uncanny and specific. I have my own. It triggered something in me that I thought I had tucked away forever. Perhaps the only people who #believeher have their own experience which similarly haunts them. But thankfully, I also know good men, really good men, who empathize with her and the women they love and don’t feel threatened by them. I also know people who heard her testimony and weeped for her.
  3. Yes, it is dangerous to falsely accuse anyone of sexual assault. Yes, it is a crime and should be punished. But honestly, I would rather be falsely accused and given the chance to clear my name than sexually assaulted. By the way I looked it up and found that false accusations are between 2 and 8 percent, but unreported sexual assault is a whopping 60%. Sexual assault is a violent, controlling, power crime. It is messed up. And it messes up a person’s view of the world, their personal relationships, and sadly their whole image of who they are. It skews the picture…forever. Looking through the hazy lens of sexual assault is a struggle. I know, all to well, the whispered words, “I must have done something to have this happen to me.” This needs to change.
  4. The entire Kavanaugh hearing really can’t be compared to any other case. Maybe Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill, but not really. This is different and although it has some similarities, the world is a different place. Today we are more aware of sexual crimes against women and children. The #metoo movement turns a page in our history which can’t be turned back. Our eyes are open, and we see the abuse. There is no going back. Sadly, there is nothing in place to investigate these stories when it comes to politicians. We should have learned from the Clarence Thomas debacle. And while I’m at it, stop bringing up Bill Clinton and Hillary as examples for your arguments. It automatically announces that you are partisan and have your arms crossed, unwilling to move forward, always stuck in a decades old time zone. I also recognize bringing up odd comparisons is one way of deflecting and distracting. I have learned from my past mistakes and today I won’t be sneakily sidetracked in that way.

I sat on this post for a day or so. I wanted to read it with fresh eyes. The news today changes almost everything. Trump mocking Dr. Ford’s testimony? It makes me ill. Now I know who I am dealing with on my Facebook comments. I will continue to listen, but I will not be silenced either, and I will not give them a voice on my page they wouldn’t put on their own.

So now, I wonder what our young adults are thinking? How are they responding to the ugly comments on Facebook and the deep conversations? Are they trying to learn each side of the story or are they simply accepting what their parents believe? Are they concerned about all involved? Do they have a personal opinion? As adults, I think it is paramount that we model the kind of behavior we want them to emulate.

Here are a few questions I make a point to ask myself.

Am I a true listener? Do I ask questions which help others to dig deeper and explore their answers. Am I varying my news feed, those which I agree with and those I don’t. Do I react with compassion for others, despite what view they have? Are my arms open or crossed to learning another point of view? Or do I take the necessary time to read and learn about something controversial before I form an opinion?

By varying our world view, we can gather up so much knowledge which helps us formulate a stronger opinion or throw out our unfounded belief. I find no shame in softening my view. I find no shame in compromise. I believe people mean well, but perhaps haven’t learned a strategy to express their true meaning. I also choose to not live a life of fear.

I also choose to not live a life of fear.

Let that sink in.

I know as I age, my view might narrow but I want to be more open to the understanding that change isn’t always a bad thing. I hope to never dig in and become unwavering. There are too many important issues to understand and explore. There isn’t one person on earth who could know it all, and sometimes the ones who are convinced they have all the answers are the most misguided ones.

So I am tired. So very tired.

A friend sent me a quote from When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times by Pema Chodron. It truly speaks to me today.

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After I received her e-mail, I then read a beautiful blog discussing Paula D’Arcy’s bookSeeking With All My Heart of which I am currently studying. Here are some excerpts from her book….

“I had the clear realization that everything in the forest was either in a state of birth, maturation, or death. All three, really. Everything that was decomposing was also harboring new life force. From every dying tree trunk or rotting piece of wood, ferns and lichens were growing….

“…it occurred to me the nature is the tangible, outermost rim of a magnificence we barely comprehend…we don’t know how to coexist with something perfect. We work to “tame” nature, dimming its brilliant reflection, sometimes destroying it, often just ignoring it. Bit by bit we dismiss its power, so we can prevail. And we live unaware that nature’s balance is crucial, and has great purpose. It is not a backdrop, but another form of what we profess to respect and follow. Our eyes do not yet see nature’s soul.”

This lovely excerpt reminds me life mirrors nature in a perfect cycle of birth, maturation, and death. Connecting with my post today I recognize, we sadly tend to fight change, trying to tame others and manipulate experiences to go back and relive what has already passed. There is no perfect cycle in staying still, unwavering or simply always looking back. Just as nature moves simultaneously in three forms, so should we.

We can each find joy/sorrow in what has passed, but we must recognize the perfection of this moment…the present, and then absorb knowledge to create a better future. Now will pass, perhaps even die and yet it will prepare the way for new life. I have to trust in that.

Each person brings their unique perspective to the world through their own experience. I recognize that and wonder….Why do we rush to judge, discount their views, or interrupt and selfishly shout out our own opinions.

It is time to listen. I am listening even if it isn’t easy. Please, do the same for me and others that give you that respect.

Thank you for letting me vent and giving me a voice to try and make sense of my frustrations. Are you feeling it too?

I can’t leave you without posting a song I find important and connected to my thoughts. Here you go.

Justus Proffit and Jay Som-Nothing’s Changed

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