Do you have all the answers?
Do you ever just SOUND like you do?
I am an out loud processor. I mean I even process things out loud to myself in the car (thank God for Bluetooth so people can assume I’m always on the phone)
There’s something about saying ALL the words out loud that leads me forward. Whether it’s a new post for a writing deadline, a new lesson plan, a decision that’s been weighing on me, or bottled up frustration that needs a voice, processing out loud always helps me.
But I think it’s so much a part of who I am that I forget when the person I’m talking to doesn’t know that about me… or somehow hasn’t grasped that part of who I am just yet.
And so… I sometimes sound like I think I have ALL the answers. I’m sure I’ve said each of these quite recently:
- Here’s how that show could have had a better ending…
- Here’s how that conversation could have gone a little better…
- Here’s how that idea you shared could be even more incredible…
Do you ever catch yourself doing that?
Saying a “yes! and!” that maybe comes out more like a “yes! but….”
St. Ignatius taught his men to assume the good will of the other person. This was a part of how he instructed a spiritual director to lead a retreatant… to assume, when there is no evidence to the contrary, that the person has good intentions.
I don’t know if I’m always good at doing that for others.
I’m not sure if others are always good at doing that for me.
But the first step is probably to give ourselves a break for who we are and how we enter the world… and then do the same for others as well.
For maybe some of us are better at demonstrating astonishment at the world and all the incredible things in it than others…
And maybe some of us are better at holding that astonishment inside…
And maybe some of us have to process the astonishment out loud until we hear God utter back: “Look, just look.”
But we all get there, right?
Or at least we can all help each other get there…
… to a point where we recognize that “Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood” and we can see the beauty all around.
For more on this topic, check out my “If I Ruled the World” post for Ignatian Spirituality found here.