It's late, I'm tired, but my heart can't let me sleep.
There is some behavior that is unacceptable. When someone harms or abuses another person, we have the right to say *no*, that is not okay to treat people that way and that person is not welcome in our lives.
Then there is behavior that alienates us, isolates us, is rude, or impolite, but is short of abuse. We also have the right to set boundaries around this behavior. We have the right to be assertive and say we want the behavior to change. The other person can then choose to change the behavior or not, it is their choice. It they choose to not change the behavior, we can choose to tolerate it or ignore it or we can choose to not have that person in our life at all or on a diminished capacity.
I have been having discussions about two topics lately. One has been on ending discrimination of marriage equality to gays and the other one is accepting people who disagree with us.
I have learned that who we have sex with does not harm or abuse another person. As long as it is between consenting adults, it also does not fall into the category of being rude or impolite to others. Why, then, are so many people so vehemently opposed to it? Yet, many believe it is their business and feel as though they can judge and condemn and shame.
I believe the answer is also closely tied to the second topic. I have been working within a support group to heal wounded feelings between two people. It has been difficult to help one person understand that he has been holding a grudge over a small slight, and he needs to let it go and seek forgiveness. He holds tight to Christian beliefs, yet he cannot see he is not being forgiving or understanding, instead he is being judgmental, hypocritical and hateful.
When a person holds strongly held beliefs and they feel those beliefs are being threatened, they feel they personally are being threatened, or rejected, when if fact, it is their beliefs that are being criticized. They are not able to distinguish between their belief system and themselves. In their view, they are one and the same. When someone is critical of their beliefs, they perceive they are personally being criticized. Here is a video that explains it better than I can: Emotional reaction to rejection
With my first experience of reaching out to my family and friends who reject the idea of ending discrimination of allowing equality to gays, I had some success with at least one family member over this facebook post: Love and Acceptance
With my Christian friend, I have been working with him to understand that no matter how much he truly feels he was offended, he must forgive and move beyond his hurt feelings. After weeks of working with him, he messaged me tonight and said he was ready to forgive and move on.
I have believed in the capacity to change, because I have changed, yet I see it so infrequently in others.
Tonight, my heart is full of love. Love for human kind for not failing me in a time that I need to believe in love and the human condition to change for the better.