Sunday, June 04, 2006

Why Did You Change?

On one of the listserves that I read, someone asked "Why Did You Change? Over time or was it sort of an epiphany?" I thought that was a pretty good question and so I responded with the following:

In my case, epiphany is closer to the answer. But it didn't happen over night.

I used to be a rather callous react-er. No more.

By now, you all should know that I read and read about, and reflect on Scripture. That certainly has something to do with the change. There have also been EO classes and acceptance training.

In addition, I've seen little kids, to whom I had given chocolate the day before, now dead on the street and sidewalks, having died from mortar or sniper fire. I've had grown women and men ask - plead - for help. I have seen the panic and anxiety in their eyes. And I have not been able to help in the immediate moment. I would not want to be where they were. I have seen men shot by snipers as they walk down their streets.

I have learned that my value, your value, comes to us simply because we are alive. That everyone deserves respect and a sympathizing ear/heart - even when corrective action is required. I have learned that people thrive with caring boundaries because of the respect they provide them. In my case, I believe God loves me; that our relationship is secure no matter what happens to me in this life. This realization frees me to help people even when it looks stupid, or when others may think I'm being taken advantage of. It's not others I worry about. It's who I am that concerns me and my motivations for acting.

I also know how embarrassing it is to spew invective and then find out that I didn't understand the situation. I have received invective that I thought was misguided or ill-timed. I don't like the feeling of either one and I don't want others to feel them.

True love drives out fear, and fear is my understanding of why people develop dysfunctional behaviors. Most of my fear is gone; I trust God. Therefore, I have no need for defense mechanisms or self protection. I can behave as a whole person without need for shadowing or conniving. I can be honest and let you either accept me or not. I can admit an error and not
feel as though the world will end for doing so. I can let you be you, with all your foibles and not think you a threat to me.

Why have you changed?

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