Treacherous Dichotomies

I, like many people, started out life with a childlike assumption that things were either good or evil.

Heaven or Hell
Conservative or Liberal
Choice or Limitation
Reward or Punishment

The problem with these black and white categorizations is the hardened views that people come to have of one another because of labels popularized or demonized by society and the media.  Instead of taking time to find out the why and how, they see the shallow interpretation presented by an oversimplified group mindset.

I now believe that if people with different views could see their connectedness instead of dwelling on sensationalized conflict, we have a better chance of getting past the conflict itself while focusing on education and genuine compassion and love.  Imagine if decisions in governments, schools, businesses and homes were all made from love instead of good intentions spoiled by greed and self-preservation.

I am seriously in danger of sounding like a hippie, but that would be a popular label, wouldn't it?

In my own life,  reaching beyond conventional labels and old stories allowed me to see a more complete picture of the true nature of things.

For example, when I was a little girl I loved church, patent leather shoes, joyful singing and clapping, and fried chicken lunches in the church basement.  More importantly, I loved knowing that I was "good" and there was a clear and narrow path to being "good."

Then my family moved to the Chicago area when I was in middle school and my view of the world and my earthly role as a spiritual being began to dissolve.

Major life travel...depression...confusion...(read that story here)...

20 years later my faith had all but evaporated until I met some Mormon friends in Arizona as a mom of three young kids with a penchant for asking penetrating questions.

They gave me a lot to consider.  Perhaps the very narrow version of Christianity I knew as a child, wasn't the truth.  The shame and guilt that followed me around everywhere I went led me to believe that I was not and never could be worthy of love.

I now know with every fiber of my being that it's actually about the love.  Whether the particular brand of protestantism I knew had brandished a vengeful God's anger too much, or I had let it loom too large in the big picture, I was missing the true heart of spiritual teaching: simple, pure, whole love.

With this more complete understanding of mistakes and perspective I now see our time on Earth as a circle, or perhaps even an upward spiral.  We spend it either drifting away from our true selves or gravitating toward a more complete existence.

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