“The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The
willingness to learn is a choice.” ― Brian Herbert
We are born into this world in perfect form. We are innately able to express ourselves, we smile, eat, sleep, burp, and fart at will. And then we learn not to.
For the first two years of our lives we are taught to walk and talk and then someone – perhaps many – tell us to sit down and shut up; and we struggle to make sense of it.
We are told to eat everything on our plate and then not to be fat; and we struggle to make sense of it.
We are told that our parents love us and then they leave or don’t pay attention; and we struggle to make sense of it.
We are told that love is wonderful and then it hurts like hell; and we struggle to make sense of it.
We are told that sex / sexual touching might be bad but it feels physically good; and we struggle to make sense of it.
We are told we can by one segment of society and that we can’t by another; and we struggle to make sense out of it.
We are told that Santa is real and then find out that he is not; and we struggle to make sense of it.
We are told that white lies are acceptable but dishonesty is not; and we struggle to make sense of it.
We are told there are laws and then we break them without consequence; and we struggle to make sense of it.
We are told that marriage is forever and then we divorce in anger; and we struggle to make sense of it.
And along the way we just do the best that we can.
Most of us.
We are born pure of heart, perhaps believing in unending possibilities and then we are told, we learn… something else.
It’s not anyone’s fault specifically as each of us has faced the same fate. We are all born into a mold of prior teachings that bends and shapes the beginning of our personal story until we have sculpted a cast of our own with the addition of social and cultural contradictions.
Essentially, we are all … each and every one of us … bent out of shape from our original, perfect form. Designed individually by the things we struggled to make sense of; the things that we observed and interpreted.
This is the foundation, the cornerstone of personal growth.
Learning how you came to think and understand the things that you do.
Why was it that you disagreed with your parents but your sibling acquiesced? Why did you learn to feed your feelings while your mother was a beauty queen? How did you learn to motivate yourself even though your father never held a full-time job?
We are products of our family life, social environment, town culture, and national philosophies. We come to believe that what makes one of us ‘right’ makes another of us ‘wrong’ when in fact it only makes us DIFFERENT.
Not one of us if free from the distortion that occurs after birth. We only experience varying degrees and intensities. We only differ in the shape, color, and size of those variants.
Not one of us is exempt.
The secret here is an absence of judgment. An understanding that we are all the same in that we are bent – broken – and twisted by our backgrounds, our heritage, and our experiences. We cannot possibly acknowledge that our extent of understanding is “the” best, “the” right, “the” optimal interpretation of life.
Once we allow for our differences and truly honor the fact that what makes me different from you is the way we were bent… we can begin the process of compassion and acceptance. We suddenly see one another as perfect human babies that are composed of the same material but shaped by different forms.
The same molten metal is forged into any variety of individual and unique pieces. Each one of them intended for a slightly different use generating almost endless possibilities. And yet they all seem to serve a distinctive purpose and are enjoyed by a variety of populations.
We seem to accept that there are so many types of spoons without question; without judgement.
What would your life be like if you stopped to consider that the person you are angry with is bent? What about the person with whom you are disappointed? Have you considered that they may be formed into a shape that may be painful to exist within?
Have you thought about your own bends? Are they working in your life? Do you need to hammer out a few kinks? Can you accept that the forces at work as you were originally being shaped may have been bent and broken; making it impossible for you to exist without needing a few repairs?
Can you take responsibility now for those corrections?
You are where you are. Your shape is your shape. Anything that happens now must happen because you are aware and deliberate about making change.
Be what you want to be. Take the time to know your shape and learn how to bend in the way that makes life work for you.
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