Opinions. They are everywhere right now. And I’m exhausted from them. Utterly exhausted. Not from the opinions themselves, but from the way that opinions are handled. I am often afraid to even mention something, for fear that an opinion that is different than mine will come flying back at me in a way that will make me feel wrong for my own opinion. Or even worse, mentioning something I didn’t even know was controversial. I think that might be the hardest for me.
Opinions. We all have them. We are all entitled to feel and think through things on our own terms. I just wonder when it became the norm for it to not be okay to have different opinions. When it became the norm that we aren’t allowed to casually mention something. When it became the norm that we can’t civilly sit and talk about things to learn how the other person is seeing things.
Because opinions can be changed.
Opinions can be shaped.
Opinions can be developed.
Opinions can be shared lovingly and honestly.
Through our own lens...
Opinions. We all see the world through our own viewpoint or to use another word,lens. We all research, learn, and come to conclusions differently. And that should be okay. We should be able to discuss and learn. Because every single one of us comes into a situation from our past experiences. With different knowledge points and understanding. Something that may not seem like a big deal to me, may have years of traumatic experience for another person.
In a short 15 months of marriage, I've learned that where I see white, my husband sees purple. Where I see easy math, he is lost on where to begin. Where I see a beautiful picture of reflecting leaves on water, he sees the light and composition of how to turn it into a painting or work of art. While this can present challenges, more so, it provides a stronger relationship and allows each of us to grow.
Opinions are like glitter...
In the words of my husband, opinions are like glitter, you can’t get rid of them. And this is true, it’s like a constant stain on any relationship where you have different opinions. But it shouldn't be like glitter or stains, it should be a space for growth and honesty. Friendships where I often have been able to talk about differences, it doesn’t seem to happen anymore. So I silently listen and try to understand different opinions, not often voicing my own opinion. Not because I don’t have them, but because I choose carefully who I share them with.
So where am I at? My resolution is to do my best to listen and understand. To hear why others have come to the conclusions they have. To walk away when my words may not be nice and let them know I am not at a place to listen. To be careful of where I am at health wise, and do what I need to stay as emotionally healthy as possible. To speak only kind words when I do speak of different opinions. To remember, we are all different, and that is truly what makes this world a crazy beautiful place - even amidst the chaos. And to acknowledge that there area a lot of big emotions right now, and know that your big emotions are okay and welcomed. That my big emotions are okay. And the best way to the other side of this chaos? Together -- learning, listening, acknowledging, feeling, and walking together.
“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” ― Ansel Adams