“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”  

~John Maynard Keynes

Ideas tend to wrap themselves so deeply into our psyches, they affect our lives on a daily basis.  Many of these ideas are simply playing in the background; we aren’t even aware of them.

It can come as a shock when someone says something contrary to our comfortable idea.  We might push their idea away as crazy, foolish, ridiculous, or even offensive.  But, what if…. by some chance, their idea is just as worthwhile as our own?  Different, but valid.  Are we strong enough to contemplate their perspective?

My black and white perspective always had me on the defensive when someone had a different idea than mine.

Always Right

I had to disprove them at all costs, because I needed my idea to be right.  This was very destructive, but I was still operating on a survival mentality and didn’t even know it.

As I continue to heal, forgive, and move forward I am increasingly tolerant of new ideas.  I may still disagree, but I have grown to enjoy hearing other perspectives.  Sometimes it solidifies my original thought, sometimes it modifies it, and yes there have been times when they’ve changed my mind.

I’ve learned it’s okay to listen, consider, and respond – as opposed to interrupt, argue, and react.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

~Leo Tolstoy

I used to take pride in being told I should have been a lawyer because of how much I liked to argue.  I thought it was a compliment because most of the praise I received as a child from dad was for disrespecting people.  It never occurred to me that people were trying to tell me I was abrasive, rude, or mean.  As my awareness has grown, so has my embarrassment.  I ‘get it’ now, and it bites.  I don’t need to change the world, I need to change myself.  Luckily I have been blessed with a forgiving husband and kids who have stood by me as I’ve walked the plank of recovery and growth.  It hasn’t been pretty, but it’s looking better!

It’s my goal to never regain the original dimensions of my small mind.  I’m looking forward to being introduced to new ideas for the rest of my life!

How about you?  What are some new ideas that surprised you or you surprised someone else with?