I am a person that has been accused from time to time of being slightly linear (no, really, no sarcasm here!) The irony is that I am the first one to admit that we do not live in a black and white world, but a world full of many shades and colors. I love to see the world and analyze it. I love to explore and embrace it.
I have found, however, that the lens I view the world through is not always the same lens that others view the world through. Being able to reconcile these differences is often necessary for us to live together…… something that is a challenge for playground foes and for countries……..
I have found that two participants in an event will often walk away from the event with very different narratives. Sometimes this is within the realm of normalcy, and other times the differences are accounted for due to psychological deficits in one or both parties.
When the distortions are more than “normal” I find myself asking why – what is the reason that people need to distort reality. Perhaps there are many reasons??? I think sometimes people “re-write” their version of reality in order to alleviate guilt and to help make themselves feel better. Sometimes people re-write reality to avoid emotional pain or rejection. Sometimes people rewrite history in order to deny bad choices they have made.
Before I was in a position of leadership, I ran many groups for students in the schools I worked in. One of the skills/ character traits I used to work with students, parents and teachers on was feeling comfortable with reality. I also learned quickly that as I modeled the ability to own my issues, admit I was not perfect, and ask forgiveness when I make mistakes, it empowered others in my midst to do the same. It was so wonderful to see those behaviors start to spread.
While I know people think they are protecting themselves as they distort reality, they actually cause more harm to themselves and those around them. By choosing to face reality as it comes, we are standing strong. We are strong in our humanness, in our vulnerability, in our sensitivity, and in our desire to connect on deeper levels with those around us. We break down walls as we allow ourselves to live in reality and truth.
Today, 126 days ’til 40, I am thankful to work with many individuals who have committed themselves to living an authentic life.