I’ve noticed for many years a dichotomy in the way in which I communicate. Whenever I’m in front of people, face to face, I’m totally authentic, accessible, present, aware, engaging, passionate, and transcendent. I found this to be true when I preached off-the-cuff and from the heart, when I did pastoral counseling, or when I was at my best in the confessional. I’ll call this the “compassionate me.” When I’m in “compassionate me” mode I am not defensive nor self-conscious.
On the other hand, I also realize that when I’m not in front of a live audience and when I’m in my head, I find it easier to discharge my angst, inauthenticity, fear, anger, cynicism, sarcasm, and agony. I’ll call this the “polemical me”. This is the guy who showed up whenever I preached in order to “make a point”, or to “shake things up”, and when I unconsciously brought my agenda into the confessional or to individual encounters. I have noticed that some of my Facebook replies to posts have been in this vein. I get into a defensive/offensive posture, a feeling of superior moral authority or intelligence, and end up throwing verbal “grenades”, ostensibly to get others to think. But what I end up doing is just adding to the terror, fear, and angst that we as a nation are collectively feeling at this time in history.
The “compassionate me” versus the “polemical me” is not my exclusive domain. I’m witnessing these two approaches taken by our candidates for President. Both can be found at the heart of big business, big pharma, and big insurance company policy. I also read it daily on Facebook and notice that I “hide” posts that are polemical and “share” the compassionate ones on my pages. And I also have discovered that a large number of people, without me knowing, have been positively and profoundly affected whenever the “compassionate me” shows up in the pages of this blog.
I’m coming to realize, with the help of my mentor and friend James Dickson, that everything that comes out of me must be such that others will want what I have. That is my intention and my commitment going forward. I need consciously to point the way to joyous transcendence in a world stuck in despair. Plenty of people already cower under the weight of their angst, inauthenticity, fear, anger, cynicism, sarcasm, and agony. I don’t need to add to their burden. These are the dis-eases that are eating away at our nation and our world.
Will you join me in a sincere intention to be joyously transcendent, to express yourself out of a reservoir of authenticity, accessibility, presence, awareness, and passion? How will your interactions with your partner, lover, friend, bus driver, Starbucks barista, Walmart cashier, and with the homeless people you meet today change, because of your intention to heal the world?
Read more at my Life & Soul-Shifting FB page
photo by Andrew Ciccarelli