meaningofstrife

Seeing the best in life's challenges

Unforgivable Sins

Allowing people to see who you really are, means letting others see that you are not “perfect.”

This is not necessarily an either/or proposition or even that big of a deal.  You can open up a little bit, let someone see your more acceptable “faults” and they are still most likely to accept you and maybe even love you.  This strategy is a pretty safe bet for most of us.  We can find a pretty good balance doing this, and keeping certain imperfections or experiences to ourselves really isn’t that big a deal.  Why rock the boat?  In many cases, there isn’t any dramatic big secret to keep, so it’s easy enough to get along and fit in.

But let’s go back and take another look at my initial statement.  What about being “perfect”??

Maybe it’s not that we want people to be perfect, it’s more that we want them to be as we EXPECT them to be.  Within the “acceptable” range, we can tolerate some quirkiness, some minor indiscretions, maybe even one major slip that has been forgiven.  There might be a sordid past, but if a person has obviously learned their lessons, they are not really “like that.”  We forgive and forget, especially with those we know and love.

Usually, we choose to spend our time with others with whom we have a lot in common, who are in the same social circles, so we are less likely to run into serious incompatibilities or surprises.  We give our friends the benefit of the doubt.  After all, they are “like us” and we know that we are basically good at heart and don’t mean any harm, so they must be the same.

When we surround ourselves with others who are similar, it’s easier to sail along without disruption.  If you avoid conflict and differences, you don’t have to deal with them.

But then there are the Unforgivable Sins.

Child molestation.  Rape.  Murder.  Adultery.  Abortion.  Homosexuality.  Teen pregnancy.  Criminal activity.  Domestic violence.  Drug use.  Drug dealing.  Drunk driving.  Smoking.  Suicide.  Being an atheist.  Being Muslim.  Corporate Greed.  Laziness.  Bullying.

As Christians, we are told not to judge yet we don’t think that applies to unforgivable sins.  Few will find fault with condemning child molesters, rapists, terrorists, and murderers.   They should get what they deserve.  But that is still judging.  I have heard people rant with passion about many of the above categories.

You might not like that I am putting murderers and homosexuals, for example, in the same list.  I do not personally think these categories of people are in any way the same, except that they both get condemned.  In fact, I don’t like categorizing people at all – I put them in categories to illustrate how we label, judge, and dismiss large groups of individuals, and we do it all the time without thinking about it.  And most likely, if you are reading this, you don’t consider homosexuality to be an “unforgivable sin.”  But how about murder and child molestation?  Do you really think those can be forgiven?

What’s on your list of Unforgivable Sins?  Obviously, not everyone’s list will be the same.  Whose list is “right”?

As one goes down the list, the level of condemnation starts to get fuzzy, especially if you have had a personal experience in which you or someone you are close to has had to grapple with that particular “moral issue.”  It’s also obvious that each Unforgivable Sin is unique.  I’m guessing many people would be tempted to spend some time arguing why certain ones “should” be in the list and others “shouldn’t”.  Who is “right?”

Granted, many of the categories in the list represent the “extreme” issues.  Let’s get back to being perfect or meeting expectations.  Maybe you aren’t worried about those major issues, but what about the minor Sins and Expectations? How well-defined is the box you would like others to fit into?

I find Ernie Fitzpatrick’s thoughts on forgiveness very interesting.  He asks, “What if God doesn’t forgive, because God doesn’t judge?”  “Can you handle such love?”  My question to you is:  Can you offer that kind of love?

What Ernie is saying, is that to God there is no such thing as an Unforgivable Sin.  Wait, doesn’t that sound familiar?  I’ve heard that somewhere before….

In a culture that condemns certain “sinners” forever, shuns them, bans them, does not tolerate mistakes or differences, there is NO WAY OUT.   Once a person slips up or doesn’t fit in (or worse yet, gets labeled), self-preservation kicks in.  If possible, mistakes are hidden.  There is the fear of being found out, and holes may be dug.  Some will continue to deny the obvious (i.e., Jerry Sandusky) to the point of absurdity.  Others will take their own lives.

Most important, in a zero tolerance atmosphere it is very difficult to get help, to focus on prevention, to find support, to come up with solutions.  So situations and problems, and the potential for more problems, dysfunction, misunderstandings, repeat behavior, all get worse.

Sarah McBride’s story proves there is a different way to handle perceived Unforgiveable Sins.  We can throw away those lists, and stop expecting others to be just like us.  Instead, we can be open and focus on understanding people as individuals.  We don’t have to be like them and they don’t have to be like us.  We don’t even have to hang out with them or be their friend, if that doesn’t feel right.  And yes, maybe it’s easier to accept Sarah than some others.  After all, she’s a super great person, well spoken, honest, brave and accomplished.

But what about the others we have condemned as unforgivable, for whatever reason?  We don’t have to condone bad behavior and violence.  Yet we can fight to make the world a better place without the need to condemn, especially with anger and contempt.  We can always choose to react with compassion first.

 

The video that can be found at the following link complements this discussion.  I ordered the book Practical Wisdom today, and am looking forward to reading it!

practical-wisdom-barry-swartz

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Planned Parenthood: Just Sayin’ No

Yesterday’s blog post by Ryan Holiday, regarding Planned Parenthood’s rejection of a $500,000 donation by Tucker Max, provides a great example of the way the “Old Energy” paradigm is clashing with the “New Energy” paradigm.  The situation illustrates a lot of the concepts I’ve been reading and writing about.

For anyone who hasn’t been in “my loop,” let me get you up to speed briefly.  I’ve been writing about how the world is shifting, how the masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves and our society are balancing, how we can move away from judgment and the mentality of “right” and “wrong”, how each person has their own unique perspective on the world that “just is”, and how some of the crazy behavior we are seeing “out there” might be explained by this shift.

I don’t expect anyone to necessarily agree with me on this stuff.  I write primarily as an outlet for myself, and I share knowing that some might find concepts here that they find interesting to think about, and others might find nothing at all.  I have no ego attached to either case.

I’m not going to repeat too many basic ideas here, so if you want to dig, feel free to read some previous posts.  Whatever works for you.

So, here’s the basic story:

Ryan Holiday, a publicist/marketing guy, works for Tucker Max.  Tucker has a big tax liability, and asks Ryan if he has any ideas.  Ryan suggests Tucker make a big contribution to Planned Parenthood, get a clinic named after him, generate lots of good PR.  The guys figure that since PP in Texas is having a rough time financially, they win, too.  The problem is, Tucker has made some not-so-nice references to PP and their clients, and PP decides to refuse his offer.  Ryan and Tucker are not happy about this, and make a fuss about how stupid Planned Parenthood is (which, aha! brings them more publicity).

And here’s my perspective:

The Old Energy paradigm, which is weighted toward power, materialism, and control, totally explains this scenario.  This paradigm is dominated by masculine energy.  Money talks, especially when the target is poor and vulnerable, and the fear of scarcity rules.  Judgments are made about who should do what, and the approach is competitive.  There is an attitude of “I know what’s good for YOU.”  When power does not get its way, it has a temper tantrum, intended to create doubt and fear.  Marketing = Manipulation.  There’s lots of discussion about who should have done what, and who is right or wrong.  Drama is created, and the Old Energy LOVES drama.  (Some refer to this as the third dimension.)

In the New Energy paradigm, masculine and feminine approaches are balanced.  No choice is right or wrong.  Each person or group is allowed to make its own choices and those choices are respected.  (One is ALLOWED to say “no.”)  Sure, they may have to deal with consequences of those choices, but that’s the concern of the one making the choice. It’s the ultimate in personal responsibility.  There is acceptance of “what is”, no fighting reality.   (This is how a fifth dimensional world operates.)

This shift from Old to New is subtle, but it’s happening.  Just look at how the world has changed in the last decades.  And 2012 is the tipping point for the shift.  It’s going to get harder and harder for those who play by the Old Paradigm rules to navigate their way through the world.  It’s going to be increasingly frustrating, and we’re going to see a lot of kicking and screaming.

And (hooray!!) it’s finally going to “work” for those who approach the world the New way.  Those whose intentions are for the Greater Good.  Those who operate from Love and Compassion.  Those who respect others without trying to control or manipulate them.  The Old Guard will still regard us as weak and naive, and they will continue to convince themselves that they are “right”.

Our time has come, finally.

Ryan and Tucker, you should know that the New Energy will not make you “wrong”.  It will respect your right to make your own decisions, to ask for what you want, and to conduct yourselves in any way you desire.  It’s all good.  The New Energy will not judge you.  Just don’t be surprised when the New Energy neglects to get involved in the drama and ignores you, or when you don’t get the kind of reaction and cooperation you expected.  When you encounter the same roadblocks over and over again, when you get stuck and you start asking yourselves “Why isn’t this working?” just remember that you will be presented with the same lesson over and over, as many times as you like, until you learn whatever it is that life is trying to teach you.  Hey, it’s all part of the adventure of life.

To the reader:  Do you want to be successful going forward?  If what I am saying has any truth to it, it might be a good idea to learn about how this New Paradigm is going to work.  Here are some people who are talking about this stuff – do a little research and decide for yourself what YOU think:

 

Tom Shadyac – writer/director of Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor, Patch Adams, etc.

Lynne McTaggart – author of The Field and The Intention Experiment, about the science of connectedness and consciousness

Lenore Skenazy – author of Free Range Kids, who writes about parenting without fear

Lee Carroll – author and channeler of Kryon’s messages about the shift

Ernie Fitzpatrick – LRC Houston, a spiritual community with Christian roots

Izzy Kalman – expert on handling bullying

 

 

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