Bring on the light, the hope, the undying, relentless faith, the power of standing for something I hold sacred and pure. I will always look first for the good in anyone. I’ll forever believe in the power of love and solidarity, and the good that Iives in each of us. You might call me an idealist, which I’ll receive as a compliment, thank you. But I am not naive. For all you contrarians out there, thank you for motivating and inspiring me to move my position forward in a positive, peaceful way. I appreciate you because your opposition fuels my fire.
My first instinct is to look for the good in people. Everyone. I believe from the depths of my soul that every single one of us is good at our core. Some have felt compelled to bury it for one reason or another, or due to circumstances in their lives. Humans have strong survival instincts, and sometimes, that is what it takes to survive -- protecting the soft, open, vulnerable pieces with layers of tough, impenetrable doors shut tightly. I don't know their stories, their journey, the path they walked, the challenges they faced, but I do know that deep within, underneath the layers of protection, there is good in there, and I'm determined to see it. I will hold-out for it, longer than you think I should, waiting for it to show up, knowing that it will. Sometimes I’m right. Sometimes I’m wrong.
In my 20s and 30s, that holding-out manifested in the form of codependency. My rock bottom, realization, desire to break-through the pattern and heal that broken piece was a big part of my journey, and that’s for another blog post. For now, suffice it to say the healing, learning, growing and breaking through was tough, very painful at times, and also turned out to be my greatest gift. The learning, growing and healing never end. They are a constant part of my journey, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Through my healing journey, I have gained knowledge, intuition, understanding, tools, resources, and people in my life that support me in ways most others never even get to experience, let alone seek-out, learn and employ for their own major personal development.
My strong stand for the good in everyone is something I love about myself, something I’m proud of. I have developed excellent boundaries so I can safely express my beliefs and strong feelings without becoming a victim to anyone else’s behavior.
My compulsion to seek and find the good in each person is more subconscious, instinctual and “auto-response” than it is a conscious choice. This part of me just happens. My impulse to reach-out to someone in need is not tamped down. As much as I’d like to take credit for being an over-the-top compassionate, loving, open-hearted person, this part of me just IS. If I could convince you it was genetic, that’s what I’d say.
At the same time, right along side of that loving, idealistic side, I have a very skeptical, suspicious side. My ear is constantly listening for “the rest of the story,” or some subtle body language, or slip of the tongue, that is a clue to the dark side of the person trying to get away with something. If the facts in evidence say certain ugly things about you, then you will have a hard time convincing me you’ve changed your ways. Example: “once a cheater, always a cheater” is (sadly) something I believe, no matter the miles of redemption you may have walked or the groveling you might have done.
It’s a weird and uncomfortable juxtaposition to live in.
Time has certainly proven to be the universal “mellower.” 30 years ago, I was a much more stubborn, heels-dug-in, righteous, annoying know-it-all, and no matter how often or loud you said it, you couldn’t convince me of anything I didn’t want to believe.
Today, at 50+ years old, I can say for sure that time has mellowed me in lots of ways, and I am quite sure I’ll enjoy the gifts and joys of continued mellowing as the years pass. Still, there are a few things about which I feel just as strongly as I did when I was 20. My fierce loyalty to my family, friends, and loved ones, for example, is something I'm passionate about. If you’re lucky enough to call me a friend, you’ve got someone on your side who's got your back like you’ve never known! I love this about myself, and it's something I’m proud of. If pride is yet another evolution hurdle to clear, well, I guess I’m still running on that track too. ...and I’m good with that.