I grew up going to an uber conservative church very similar to the one Danielle described in her last entry. This shaped my world view and made me look at life in a very narrow way. Either you see things my way or youre wrong especially when it came to religious veiws,beliefs and actions.
Even when my own actions didn’t mirror my own belief i had a hard time learning to use this as a chance for humbling and instead condemned myself for missing the mark.
Last year i got into a debate about substance abuse. I was pretty staunch on my how in the world could anyone do blah blah blah. The other person had a legit stance on how we never know what would cause someone to take such drastic actions. I did not understand this point of view at all. I mean how in the world could anyone do X,Y,Z?
A few months ago I took a position working with a prevention organization that focuses on teens.
As someone who has always had a sober lifestyle I realized that this would challenge the way I have always thought (or actually more importantly not considered) issues surrounding addiction. It would challenge the very debate i had months before while allowing me to actively make a change.
How does this tie into my Radical 7even journey? Remember I’m purusing working on my relationships.
I watched Super Soul Sunday (an Oprah production). I usually don’t watch her any more because her views are drastically different from mine ( but im trying to be more open). Oprah interviewed a woman named Karen who is a well respected religious expert. Karen started off her journey studying to be a nun. She spent a year or so in a convent and she spoke on how difficult this was for her. She then turned her pursuit to knowledge of religion and cultural context. She contends that the most important thing that binds all religions is the focus on helping others. Almost every single religion emphasizes self denial and respecting our neighbors.
Many times we view our beliefs in a vacuum, making excuses for our short comings yet judging others harshly for falling in an area we do not struggle.
Do we actively try to understand and respect our neighbors?
Challenge your thoughts