Those are even in order by priority for me at eighteen. I laugh at my younger self now, perhaps that is a good sign of growth.
Now with a little experience a decade later, I have earned enough wisdom to boldly shift my perspective. There is still so much to learn but I am in a good place to figure it out. I have wide eyes and open ears. These traits are giving me a full heart.
I no longer crave to be right… on my first try. Now I understand…. I won’t even finish that sentence because I am not at a destination here. I am just on a journey. I am learning to not need to be right but teachable.
Lately, I resist publishing anything for the fear of being offensive, politically incorrect, or exclusive with my words. The last year has been so wildly eye opening for me I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully articulate it. I have seen and heard from people I never had before. My idea of the world is bigger and so much better. It has left me moving forward at a more conscious pace in life and it feels good. Maybe that was the point of it all.
The stories offer connection.
The stories I have read and the people that I’ve heard have taught me in ways I couldn’t have learned from without first listening. I have found them through social media, well known publications, and printed memoirs. I have learned of so many past beliefs and ideas I held that are, for lack of a better word, wrong or maybe just a small piece of a big story. You don’t know what you don’t know. And then one day a piece of that puzzle is revealed to you. It can be discouraging at first, but with time wildly motivating.
There is a story here that we are all apart of. Our narrative is vital to the larger story that is unfolding but it is not the only point of view to be taken in. The people around us are our best teachers. The stories that connect each of us are illuminating. The more stories we take in with an open mind the more love we let shape us. The love is what makes life so full of flavor and purpose.
With these varied stories, so different from my own, I have found myself on a mission. Instead of shooting for being right about it all I have intentionally shifted my goal. Bréne Brown says it best by pointing out a key difference in “Being a knower and being right” versus “Being a learner and getting it right”
I no longer want to be a ‘knower’. Yes, I still want to be right. I think we all do. I want to say the right things to include and be kind to all. I want to teach my children the right things too. But I have fully committed to being a learner. I have also committed to being a transparent learner. I will be honest with my children in my learning, when they ask hard questions I will say “I don’t know, let’s learn together.”.
The connection leads to understanding.
What would the effect be on the community if we all strived to be open learners instead of defending our rightness?
I used to think there was safety and power in being a knower. No matter what category it was, I thought being a knower was the best outcome. To know theology, religion, culture, or politics was success. But is it?
Can’t being a knower also make you unteachable? Can’t being a knower make you unapproachable? Can’t being a knower block connection? I don’t want to know alone.
Can’t being a knower teach my kids that having it all figured out is the only way to succeed? Gosh, I don’t believe I want that for them. I don’t want that for me.
Having it all figured out feels unrealistic. I don’t want a half life in decided truths. There is so much beauty in continually learning and evolving into someone better each day. I can see a full and vibrant life in continually finding answers and learning more stories. The connection in it all will be the art in life that I crave.
I don’t have all the answers. It used to scare me to know that while looking into the eyes of my child. I thought that meant I was lacking what they needed.
Now I know that what my children may benefit from most is having a parent who is openly learning. The world has so much to give and every person living here has something to teach me. Cheers to the learning ahead and the stories that will unfold.