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The thoughts below were inspired by a key quote from church this weekend. We’re two sessions into a series on hope.
— MackEnzian (@mackenzian) January 18, 2014
“Choosing to be okay with not being okay” is anathema to perfectionists, our choice of last resort. But as long as our desire to hide from others (shame? pride?) trumps our desire to be known, we’ll be isolated. Even in crowds.
As long as our groups reward perfectionism and punish transparency, we’ll struggle to build sound relationships with each other. And until we can stand the vulnerability of being seen while not okay or seeing another who still has far to go, none of us will grow.
I was talking about relationship and character with friends this morning (based on Galatians 5 and John 15). Struck me how much we frame relationships as “work” and not “connection,” as if one “works” on patience or “works” on love and doesn’t express love/patience as the natural consequence of the relationship one has.
Someone pointed out that not everyone is “naturally” patient or expressive, and I agreed. In my life, both patience and love have resulted from my relationships and experiences shaping me: I see them as emergent properties, not wholly native ones. Certainly there’s a personality baseline, but most of my life has seemed to involve emergence, not scripting.
But our daily consciousness of crime trains us to focus on negative behaviors. Rarely do we talk about the quality of relationship that those behaviors arise out of or the systems of thought and action in which they seem logical.
So here’s my hunch. No relational outcome appears out of nothing. Every result is rooted in how we see our relationships and act in them. Not all causes are obvious. And not all are conscious. But they all create outcomes. There’s really no other logic that makes sense.
The question I ask in my relationships with people, organizations, and religious groups: can I identify new causes that can yield the outcomes I want and that serve us all in better ways? Can I become the new cause of improved results? Because if I can’t move beyond surface outcomes, if I can’t get to the level of cause and trigger, if I keep kicking around consequences with no root, I won’t make progress and I’ll struggle to understand why.
When you change your baseline assumptions, and the foundational actions you take because of them, new outcomes become possible. —@mackenzian