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My Mind Is Made Up


How often have you heard someone say "my mind is made up"?  This can be a good thing, if it means they've looked at the facts and considered all the options, and have reached what they believe is a sound conclusion.  But too often it actually means don't confuse me with the facts. I've already decided what I'm going to believe.  To be confident about where you stand on the issues in life is fine, as long as that doesn't mean that you've closed your mind to reconsideration if new information is brought to light.

One of my favorite expressions back when I was younger and more radical was "Some solid concrete people are mixed up and set in their ways."  Think about it... if you are going to stand firm in your ways and beliefs, you'd better be darned sure that you are standing for or against the right thing.  Your convictions should change and evolve along with you as you grow and mature. What I understood of life from a child's perspective, or even as a young adult in my 20's, is far different from the way I see things now.  My stance on some issues is much the same as it was back then... such as how people should be valued and treated at work, in their homes, and in society.  But other views have changed along the way... things about liberation, faith, marriage, even guns.  :-) 

It's not only what you believe that is important, but also that you have good reasons for the beliefs you hold. Here's an example... I had a boss who refused to let our human services agency be actively involved in Special Olympics because he had been a supporter at one time and had a negative personal experience with some of the folks involved in leadership roles in the local organization.  Ok, his feelings got hurt, but is that really a good reason from completely backing away from supporting all the good things that Special Olympics can be? Was he letting his emotions cloud his thinking?  Wouldn't it have been better if he had decided to step back from it if he chose, but permit other staff to go on being actively involved?

It is said that older people become set in their ways.  If that means I do things routinely in the same manner with the same choices,  yes I most often do.  It helps me to keep order in my life.  But I hope it can also be said that I remain open to new insights and ideas, to new ways of doing things that just might prove to be more enlightened or advanced than the way I see or do things now.  When I first met Papa Bear he thought texting was silly and didn't have it on his phone. Now he wouldn't give up his iPhone anymore than I would mine. Old dogs can learn new tricks! :-)

Many years ago I lived communally and I believed in that way of life. In some ways I still do, and I think it has possibilities that got overshadowed by the dark side of the sixties.  I believed that monogamy was an outdated concept that made little sense in today's society.  Now, years later, after much more experience with relationships and marriage, I have to conclude that monogamy works. The "free love" concept was great as a concept, but realistically it presents a host of problems, the least of which is that most people are not emotionally equipped to handle open relationships. Insecurities, doubts, and needs get in the way, it gets complicated. People get hurt, even if they swear that won't happen.  So my beliefs about that subject have changed. I am in a monogamous relationship with Papa Bear because it's what I want for my life now... and it works, it works wonderfully for us! :-)

If you had told me ten years ago, or even five years ago that I would be advocating gun ownership, I'd have laughed you out of the room, maybe even tossed you out angrily.  I had STRONG feelings about this issue.  Based on my experiences, along with what I'd seen and read, I believed guns were bad news. John and I have talked long and hard about that and I've come around to his way of thinking about guns (though not necessarily about politics :-).  I am big enough to say my opinion has changed, and I feel just as strongly that I am making a good decision for my life now... for who, what and where I am now.  (It would not have been a good idea in my previous marriage.  His drug use and my eventual desperation probably would have left one or the other of us in the morgue.) 

The moral of the this meandering blog post is to "never say never" when it comes to what you might think, say or do, given another situation.  Always keep your mind open to at least considering new possibilities, new ways of looking at things, be willing to re-evaluate the situation. What was right for you then, might not be right now.  Don't close your mind.... let it expand and grow!

15 comments:

  1. Beautifully said, Josie! I've becoming a little more flexible as the years roll by - but maybe not quite as flexible in my ideas as I should be. However, these sort of changes take time... and hopefully I'll get there at some point ;-)

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    1. It's funny Bozo, in some things I've become more "black and white" in my thinking, and in some ways my stance has relaxed. I know I am a much more tolerant person than I was when I was younger. I've had to come to terms with the awareness that I do not have all the right answers for my life or anyone else's! :-) You are right that change takes time, our way of thinking evolves, often slowly, as long as we keep an open mind and allow the light to shine in! :-)

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  2. Oh I know...people change and so do circumstances. And God changes us by the things He allows into our lives. I have learned "never to say never!"

    Good post!

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

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    1. That's so true Linda, God shows us new ways of looking at life by what we go thru, sometimes that comes with growing pains! :-) I smile when I hear people say "I never would..." or "My kids never would..." Time has a way of proving them wrong!

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  3. Yeah....that pretty much sums up what happened to me that last few weeks...I thought my black and white world was simple. Turns out, not so much. It lead to a lot of soul searching, prayer, counseling and now more contemplation. Fantastic post, as always!

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    1. Thanks Elsie! I've learned that life is not nearly as black and white as once I thought it was. Everything has to be taken into consideration, and then we need to reconsider and reconsider at times, to make sure we are looking at the picture from all angles. That's why everyone else's advice is just that, in the end we alone know what is right for us at the time and what's not.

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  4. I would never have thought, that the beliefs I held onto so steadfastly when I was younger, would change as I got older.

    One of them was marriage as an 'outdated concept.' 'A stupid bit of paper.' Though I'm not sure it will ever happen, I really do like the thought of being married...or maybe I'm focusing on the cake.

    I think that I have a balance, whereby I'm rigid in some things but entirely open to others. And having the Lil man around, helps to give me an even fresher way of looking at many others.

    As always, I enjoyed this post. :)

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    1. I agree Lily, I wouldn't have thought that either. Or the times I said as a child that I would NEVER do or say something my parents did when I grew up... and of course you do! :-) My marriage perspective has changed radically over the years, the piece of paper does have meaning... it means comittment, it means an intent to work at making it work, or it should mean that! Anything that comes with cake can't be all bad! :-) Some things I am very rigid about... there will be no recreational drug use in my house ever again. No smoking allowed either. Also I won't associate with people who bring negativity to my life, but I just might be flexible to give them another try at behaving, once or twice anyway! :-) We learn many amazing things from our kids, I know I sure have!

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    2. When I was in grad school, we had a speaker come and tell us not to believe our beliefs because they would turn into dogma. I think about that quote a great deal.

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    3. I like that Lena! It is good to be passionate about our beliefs, but we shouldn't carve them in stone, never to be altered as we grow and change and learn more about the world around us!

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  5. Hi Josie!
    Thank you so much for hopping on over to my blog (the hammock) and adding me to your blogroll! I can tell that I will spend MUCH time here on yours and believe that we could probably be great friends as I think that we both like to talk deep and wide and subjects that matter to us. That, and I see a parallel in desiring to live life FULLY.

    I like the idea of your question you posed for me becoming a post so I might just do that but I thought I would answer it here for now.

    What new things have a tried in recent years, and what things would I absolutely NOT do?

    GREAT question!!

    I have to say, that I entered into some sort of awakening (hope that doesn't sound hokey...) a few years ago, and that led to many new experiences, and a desire to stretch myself beyond my own self-imposed confines. Anything from different foods/health habits to career change to crazy pursuits have been a part of my last few years.

    New things I have tried - skydiving, solo road trip 13 days halfway cross country, zipline, career jump from teaching 6 year olds to college students, going gluten-free(as much as possible) (foods) raw oysters, alligator, kangaroo...I'm sure there's more.

    Things I wouldn't do - I hate to really even put a line or limit here because in the above list, 5 years ago, I would have said that I would NEVER jump out of an airplane or eat oysters. Ha ha! I guess this might seem strange since I have skydived, but I don't think I am too keen on the idea of bungy jumping....I value the health of my spine too much (ha ha) but who's to say?

    It's funny that you said you'd have to be dragged out on the glass sky ledge from my post - this is coming from a person that WAS/IS terrified of heights. One of the reasons I went ahead with the skydive was that I wanted to do something drastic to push past it. Not that I have necessarily overcome it, but to do things to work through some of that 'fear'. I was nervous up in that glass box 103 stories above ground, but I wanted to conquer it, despite the watery knees.

    Thanks again for coming by and for linking with my hammock! I hope you will come often, and I look forward to getting to know you through your blog! I too, plan to add your blog to my bloglist.

    Carrie

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  6. I agree 100%. Never say never. I have changed a lot of my views over the years and it is good to not be quite as staunch about some things. I think it's important to learn to consider other people's views. It certainly can change the way you think. Great post!

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    1. Parents who have said their kids "never" would, often turn up to be the most wrong and the most embarassed, Selma! The same goes for saying it about ourselves. I sent my ex a picture of my new gun 'cuz I knew it would surprise him. He must have been shocked because for once he didn't respond. Maybe he's worried I am plotting revenge. If that were true he'd have reason to worry, but actually I've long since moved on! :-)

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  7. Yet again, someone today said, "Frank always thinks he's right."

    And it's true. I do. If I thought I was wrong, I'd re-evaluate my stand.

    I argue my opinions with passion and fact and it can seem like I am pig headed. But I do listen. When new facts present themselves, I look at how it changes things and adjust my opinion accordingly.

    Being passionate in your beliefs is a good thing. Holding on to them when they no longer makes sense is not.

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    1. If you think about it, what do folks expect, us to say to ourselves "I think I'm probably wrong about this"?? Of course we think we're right, and so does everyone else! The important thing, as you note, to to remain open to re-evaluation when good cause presents itself. Too many people get stuck in their beliefs like a pair of cement shoes!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)