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I'll meet you in the grid pattern

"Don't believe a word I say...", is something I've heard from time to time from people talking or lecturing about life based on their own experiences. And the continuation of the sentence has been, "... but take what feels right to you and leave the rest."

It might sound like a person saying such a thing would not have much faith in their own words, or at least that's what I thought when I first heard it many years ago. When we talk about something, the whole point is to get the other person to, if not agree, then at least believe that what we say is true, isn't it? But today - several life experiences later - I think differently.

When I am invited to believe and take what feels right to me, I now hear someone who absolutely wants to spread their words and their message, but as inspiration and not as something to be followed blindly.

I hear a respect and a humility for other people's inner wisdom and ability.

I hear someone who, while offering a new perspective on things, also holds the intention of meeting people where they are in life right there and then.

I hear an invitation for people to stand in their integrity and truth.

And I hear trust and confidence that what needs to be said will be said and that the people who would benefit from hearing the message will actually hear it.

In my own life, I have found that these words - "take what feels right from what I say and leave the rest" - have been delivered one size too big. I can wear them even if the sleeves sometimes feel a bit long and the fabric is somewhat loose, but there is also room to grow into them even more. With the people closest to me, I can feel both powerless and frustrated when what I say seems to fall flat on the ground, especially when I'm convinced that I'm "right" and the person I'm talking to is "wrong."

But then I have to remind myself that we all listen through the filter of our life experiences. If someone else's words shake the boat I'm sitting in, I might not be able to take them to heart just like that. Maybe I need a little gentleness and timing in how and when they are delivered to me. Maybe I need someone to try to take my perspective before I can or even dare to take theirs. Or I'm in a place in myself where I feel safe in what I believe but I also feel ready to challenge myself, to take in other people's perspectives and opinions.

As a listener, reader and seeker, I was long known for keeping voluminous notes, both as someone who is easily inspired but also out of fear of missing out on something important. Today, I feel warm and mostly safe under the patchwork quilt that is created out of my personal life experiences, lessons, mistakes, knowledge and faith. But the beauty of a patchwork quilt is that you can always add squares to it with the result that your life becomes even bigger and richer. Sometimes it might be a square of inspiration that has a soft fabric and no itchy seams. Sometimes it's a square that is similar to other squares in my quilt and that confirms or goes hand in hand with what I already think I know. And sometimes it's a square of experience that I have to step back from in order to be able to see the gift it holds. But regardless, my patchwork quilt grows with me.

Every single one of us has a unique patchwork of experiences, knowledge and wisdom. Studies have shown that even if two or more people are involved in the same event, the things and aspects that they take in, experience and remember from that moment often differ. This can be useful to keep in mind when we talk to another person. Maybe it seems like we're talking about different things, but we're simply approaching the topic from different angles. Maybe if we listen to what is being said with openness and curiosity, we can "meet them in the grid pattern". I even want to offer the idea that we may never fully know when a conversation with another person will result in a new square being sewn into our already beautiful patchwork quilt.

In this blog, I really want to invite you who read this to take what feels right and true to you, but let go of the rest. If "the rest" is something that you think you or your life could actually benefit from, then trust that it will come to you in some other way when the time is right.



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