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8 Responses

  1. Gary says:

    I like your comment that you “love both of them”. My former self is a person I feel ashamed of and would never want to be again. (Fundamental evangelical) But I understand what you mean because that person has and does shape who and what I am today. I wonder if I would have had the courage or impetus to deconstruct at all if my views had not been as extreme as they were. My future self I do not yet know of course, and there is still wonder about what he will be like. Yet I do know that that change used to scare the hell out of me, and now not so much.

  2. I could have written that pretty much.

  3. Kenton says:

    What Gary said.

  4. Adam Julians says:

    I like what you say about loving both former and future self.

    I find if I am able to love myself past present and future and have compassion for myself rather than beating myself up, then I am in a better place to be loving and have compassion for others. Also to say no to the bad stuff.

    I think a problem with living in the world is that kindness can often be perceived as a weakness. This might go a way to explaining why judgemental attitudes to others who are different and even to our former selves might come across as a perceived strength.

  5. Caryn LeMur says:

    I think my old self is the core of my being – driven, evidence-oriented, highly impressed by the red-letter quotes attributed to Jesus, risk-taker, lover of arts.

    I think that I was able to change from male to female because I was not ‘risk averse’ and I was ‘evidence oriented’. Oh, a lot of tears, mind you… because change often invokes a grieving process.

    So, I am thankful for my father – who helped me to become driven and logical.

    And my mother, who taught me that the arts are beautiful.

    My friends in church, who asked me to consider the words of Jesus.

    The core of my being, is a beautiful gift.

  6. Kristin says:

    Adam your statements here resonate with my experience. I have found growing self-compassion has been the painful key to being less judgemental and more compassionate with others.

    Kindness IS often seen as weakness, and you get exploited or bullied. Until enough is enough. I grapple with “turn the other cheek” in the latter context- it is a very fine line sometimes between saying: no this is not ok do not abuse me, and being abusive in return.

    “Time brings change
    and change takes time
    and when the sunset comes
    my prayer would be this one
    that you might pick me up
    and notice that I am
    just a little smoother in your hand”
    (Nichole Nordemann, River God).
    Sometimes change is very painful, sometimes it is relatively easy, but it can all be grist for the integrity mill in my experience. It is an opportunity to grow, and that is what I am called to by my faith, especially to grow in relationship with God. Which means also growing in relationship with others. Sometimes other people choose not to grow, and then I just have to keep following where this path is leading.

  7. Adam Julians says:

    Thank you for sharing Kristin.

    I find I identify with what you share about being exploited or bullied. Show a perceived weakness and there will be predators around ready to devour. At the same time bullies are also cowards that will flee when resisted.

    I would affirm what you say about change, growth, pain and ease, faith and calling.

    Yes, others have commented that it makes sense for someone that has been abused to become angry and even abusive when triggered. You are right to highlight the difficulty in discerning between saying this in not OK and being abusive. Difficult to do when emotions are running high but of course of vital importance in eliminating the cycle of abuse.

    That poem you quoted was beautiful. Reminds me of what a comedy tutor said about comedy having in common with other art forms of alchemising pain into passages of great beauty.

    Not dissimilar to what you talk of with transformation 🙂