WHEN THE TRUTH GETS REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE

“If the Truth makes free when it is told, and we are not free, then the Truth has not been told. The Truth that the Good belongs to us is greater than the idea that we might give our time, our labor, our life, and all we are to the Good, and still never satisfy it. To tell how impossible it is for us to give enough to God breeds rebellion at existing orders. To tell that the Good asks nothing of us but to receive its substance, will rest and comfort the people.”

~ Emma Curtis Hopkins, Scientific Christian Mental Practice

1a Michelle Wolf

Michelle Wolf – NYTimes photo

The uproar over comedian Michelle Wolf’s appearance at the Washington Correspondents’ Dinner the other night is the latest example of how our differing worldviews (NYTimes – LINK) (RedState -LINK) and our insecurity about them can mushroom into something both ugly and filled with potential. Our idea of truth is always influenced, if not wholly determined, by the worldview which we bring to any situation (as can be seen in the articles in the links above). This is something that we usually ignore or deny. We have had many such moments of contested “truth” across the globe in this time of disruption – this time of movement along the Spiral where the upward movement is driven by the creation of increasingly complex systems of technology and social structures. The concepts and worldviews we bring into changing times are insufficient to carry us through those times. We must adapt, creatively and, ideally, in healthy ways.

“One prerequisite for originality is clearly that a person shall not be inclined to impose his preconceptions on the fact as he sees it. Rather, he must be able to learn something new, even if this means that the ideas and notions that are comfortable or dear to him may be overturned.”

~ David Bohm

The usual responses from the political left and right emerged quickly on social and regular media, with many in the press being caught in the middle, fearing a further erosion of trust in them and their institutions. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion and no one has room for a different opinion than his or her own. The details of the situation are less important than how the incident reflects on the national and international mood these days – we are in a culture war, and a few shooting wars as well, and every position must be defended with volume and righteousness, despite the lack of evidence of many minds being changed on any side.

The complexity of life is an essential part of the evolutionary processes by which we, and the entire universe, develop. Complexity is a sign of growth, something to be nurtured, adapted to, and embraced. It is not to be confused with being complicated, which is something else altogether.

“I want to say that short circuiting complexity is never a good idea. It makes life complicated. Complicated and complex are not the same thing. Complex looks like an ocean; whole and alive with a vitality that is generated through interrelational, interdependent processes.”

~ Nora Bateson

Perhaps this is a good time to reflect on my own worldview(s) and to notice my reactions to things said and done, whether in actuality or on social media. This advice applies no matter my position on any issue, by the way. We could all do with a bit more honest introspection about our beliefs as well as our sensitivities to dissonance and discomfort. The world around us is struggling to grow toward a greater capability to support humanity on this planet, and this will require expanded capacities from us.

“You can get sympathy, or you can get better, but you can’t get both. You can be in your comfort zone or you can have growth, but you can’t have both. You can be interested, or you can be sold-out-committed, but you can’t entertain both. You can have excuses or have results, but you can’t do both. Choose the path that develops your visceral fortitude.”

~ Mario Cortes

Here, Cortes hits the nail on the proverbial head. We all design our response systems – the ways that we automatically react to behaviors and ideas – and we too seldom examine whether these systems are working for or against us. Once we have programmed our habitual ways of reacting, we are at the mercy of what we experience – the locus of control shifts from within to without – and we are at risk of continual disruption of our power to act wisely. We do this, mostly unconsciously, as a way of avoiding fear and discomfort – natural things to want to avoid. But in doing so, we often redesign our response system to avoid growth, because nothing new grows from comfort. Comfort is overrated.

“The invitation to accept the diamond of life is not an invitation to safety and comfort. It is an invitation to live life fully and completely, which is never safe and is often uncomfortable…’If I am safe enough, then I can relax.’ I am talking about recognizing that you can relax right now, even though you aren’t completely safe, and you never will be.”

~ Gangaji

Spirituality is not an invitation AWAY from life, it is an invitation TOWARD life. And the fullness of life is messy, glorious, uncomfortable, joyful, terrifying, and challenging. We are designed to adapt upward along the Spiral (LINK) toward greater and greater capacities for living fully in a complex world. There are, of course, times when we need to retreat for a time, to heal or to rest, but such times are the exception, not the norm. Thriving requires alignment of mind, heart, and action toward the greatest possible expression of personal potential. We serve creation by living fully, creatively, and with courage.

I Affirm

My affirming statement regarding this is:

I am free of the need and the capacity to be knocked off balance by the comments or actions of others. I see the need for all kinds of expression by those who are on their own path, or who may be trapped by unconscious biases. I help where I can but take no responsibility for the behaviors of others. My life is an unfolding affirmation of possibility. I do not react with fear, I respond with love. I am comfortable with who I am and willing to be uncomfortable in the fact of what I do not understand. I know that my good is not affected by the limitations of others unless I give them that power. I hold my power within, I continually scan my responses to ensure my consciousness is one of love, power, peace, and compassion.

Make your own version of this and repeat as needed. We who are on a spiritual pathway are called to be part of the ongoing resolution of humanity’s growing pains. We recognize the struggles of birth and know that they are a natural part of our experience. We resist nothing and accept only the good. All is well. Incidents such as Michelle Wolf’s comedy need not do anything other that lead us to take a deeper look within ourselves to see where we can express greater compassion.

Let us use our spiritual communities as places where we affirm all of this for ourselves. Let us put our energies into creating spaces of care, love, compassion – but also courage, strength, and engagement. Let us learn to be examples of how to be in the face of fear, fake news, narcissism, greed, and other examples of human frailties. Let us make a difference for good in some way, every day.

“I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can.”

~ Kristin Armstrong

As always, your comments are welcome!

Copyright 2018 – Jim Lockard

 

7 thoughts on “WHEN THE TRUTH GETS REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE

  1. Your last several posts express so coherently feelings, ideas, truths, beliefs, styles…all so beautifully, clearly and needed by me! I selfishly look forward (and steal) as much of your wisdom I dare. Thank you.

    In love,. Rev. Patricia Ballard (Ret.) Oroville CSL

    On Tue, May 1, 2018 at 4:51 AM, New Thought Evolutionary wrote:

    > JimLockard posted: ” “If the Truth makes free when it is told, and we are > not free, then the Truth has not been told. The Truth that the Good belongs > to us is greater than the idea that we might give our time, our labor, our > life, and all we are to the Good, and still never ” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this one, Dr. Jim! A timely post for all of us, I suspect, but for me, you could have been reading my mind as to what I am experiencing right now. In regards to what I want to say and how to say it, to whom and when….this is no small matter, when I feel as though I am walking on eggshells sometimes with people that are so near and dear to my heart.

    So, if, for example, I were to say to some exactly what is in my heart and on my mind, as clearly as you have spoken here in this post, I must be prepared that I will be cut off, let go of, ousted, ostracized, dropped, unfriended, etc. And if I want to be in relationship with them, I must truly weigh the consequences carefully before speaking out. I know already from experience, that it hurts to be in this position of making difficult choices.

    Sometimes I choose to keep silent, and pray that I can be of better service in certain situations, by simply leading by my example of my beingness and not by words or deeds. This business of getting used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable sometimes comes at a cost of surrendering my will to a Higher Integrity that knows more than I can know in this moment. I must trust that all is well, even when it doesn’t resonate with how I perceive the good, the true and the beautiful should look. I have to trust that this dissonance will eventually resolve into a consonance creating a harmony that resounds truth from an adjacent key. I have to continually keep fine- tuning my body/mind/soul in order to transmute/heal/allow/accept/surrender so as to include and transcend to new possibilities in this Field of Infinite Potential.

    I am fully aware that some might percieve what I am sharing as Co-Dependency. Well, perhaps there are still shades of that as well….. but, to get to Inter-dependency, I also must let go of my own Independence. And there doesn’t seem to be much support that I can discern from my own limited experience from this vantage point. at least…. that offers much in the way of Unity or Communion with other like-minded souls walking this path less trodden by. And it is beginning to feel quite like a sojourn for a solitary practitioner.

    So, your posts, are like a beacon on the path…..lighting the way ahead, even if we are on parallel rather that the same path. If this makes any sense. Just having a day where I am really having to use all my resources to keep on keepin on! Thank you so much for hearing me.

    Blessed BE,
    Marjorie Shalita

    Like

  3. Aloha! I appreciate your insights and giving a voice to appreciate another’s perspective. Everyone has a perspective and that diversity offers opportunitys. How I use those opportunities is up to me. Guess that could be a reason I’m still living. I have more capacity to build within myself to appreciate others and all they bring for me to learn from and appreciate and expand.
    Thanks Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Dr. Jim, while I don’t get on Facebook too much, I am just not technically savvy, what a Blessing for me , I do love your Blog,. you are always a light for so many of us. I leave you with this comment, which means so much to me, I don’t have much to say, I have much to do.. Dr. Bruce Lipton in my mind, said it best. “Crisis ignites Evolution.” Knowing the highest and best for you. Love. Rev. Loretta, New York Community Center for Spiritual Living.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel your writings are a continual light into my thinking.
    Thank you,
    Gene Watson, RScP, Emeritus
    Everyday Center for Spiritual Living,
    Santa Fe, NM

    Liked by 1 person

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