My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

the spin stops here

Have you ever known anyone with a skewed perception of reality? Once they make up their mind about something, they spend all their time trying to prove their theory instead of being open minded enough to change their mind.

We all do it at times. Ever wake up and have some little something go wrong and declare it a "bad day"... then go through the rest of the day magnifying little things that don't go the way you would like and gather them as evidence to prove your "bad day" theory?

I found myself doing that recently and I realized how ridiculous it was as I was considering THAT day a worse day than the day our house caught fire. It's perception. ANYONE would consider a day your house catches fire a really bad day... and it was... but I rated this recent day as "worse" because of a series of inconveniences... my perception became my reality... and the more I looked for proof to support my "bad day" declaration, the more I found.

Henry Ford is attributed for the quote, "whether you think you can or think you can't, you're probably right". Everything starts with your perception.

People who believe in God see things that happen that go well for them as God's blessings... and see trials as an opportunity to expand their faith. People who don't believe in God don't count blessings... they attribute positive events to other things. And when things go wrong - they blame God. If God doesn't give you the good stuff, you can't blame him for the bad stuff.

During the 2008 Presidential Election, Americans were convinced that electing a community activist/law professor/short time Senator would unite our country... that was the spin... the perception became that you could accomplish anything if you worked together and he definitely wanted to work with all parties in Congress. We (they, I didn't vote for him) figured that it didn't matter that he had no experience in global politics, no experience in running a business - any business - and (correct me if I'm wrong, Bryan) was at best, a mediocre law professor. Yet the American people thought he was such a great speaker/leader that he could rise above his lack of necessary skills.

Instead... he's spent more money than all other presidents combined, has spent his entire presidency playing the blame game, has done more to inhibit job growth with Obamacare than he could ever overcome by trying to "create jobs" with stimulus money, and has escorted our country into a financial position we've never experienced before.

Public opinion goes a long way. So often we are like sheep... mindlessly following a shepherd instead of taking time to research and form an intelligent position. I hate politics. I hate having to think about what's going on in Washington... I hate having to read legislation... dig into the facts of a matter and form my own opinion but as a voting citizen of this country, I consider it my obligation to be informed. Not soak up everything the media presents. Everything needs to be weighed on the scales of common sense.

I just want to be bathed in truth. In public matters and more importantly on a personal level, I want people who know me, whether online or in real life to be able to see the truth of who I am, undiluted, undisputed, the true sum of who I am in my heart of hearts... that's what I want people to see of me. I can't tolerate and won't debate anyone who sets their own perception of who I am that has no basis in truth. It's not that I want to be more than who I am... I think part of my charm comes in my ability to embrace my character faults. But I won't allow someone's perception to become my reality. I won't fulfill their prophecies.

My Grandmother Pennington, my mom's mom, left behind a reputation for bitterness. There was a diary - a notebook - where she recorded her disappointments. That's not how I saw her... I saw her as lonely and hurt... I saw her as a very wise woman who maybe didn't get out of this life what she expected. There are skeletons and family history that I know I was not privy to, I was relatively young still when she passed away (I was 20). And frankly, I don't want to know. I read the things she wrote in her bible and I see a heart that sought goodness and peace. That's the legacy of her that I want to pass down to the next generation. Maybe that's a contradiction of the rest of this entry... but I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe the best of her.

I've got a photo album of baby pictures of Ryan that was put together by his dad's mom. Through his life there have been circumstances that distanced him (and his brothers) from their other grandmother... some of it truth, some of it perception. I want him to have this album because I want him to know how deeply treasured and loved he was by her... and her parents. They weren't crazy about the way Robert and I went about things (getting pregnant at 17, getting married - especially him, a non-practicing Catholic marrying a practicing Baptist) but they loved that little boy. That truth has sort of been glossed over and forgotten over the years. I want him to have that truth about himself.

Our family is painfully splintered because we see two sides of a story that may or may not have happened. I've prayed for the four years since it happened that the truth will rise to the surface and that we'll stop clinging to our own opinions and instead only be able to see truth - God's truth - the circumstances as they really occurred - and heal from that. As long as nobody agrees on what the true problem is - it's really difficult to correct it.

I want truth but more than that... I want to be loved in such a way, respected in such a way, based on my faith, my friendship, my character... that when someone says something bad about me, no one else will believe it. I crave truth... I want to be seen, when the last chapter of my life is written and the final earthly evaluation is complete, I want people to see the truth of who I am, good and bad, I want people to know the intent of my heart.

Search for truth... it will set you free.
love and hugs, y'all.