Saturday, 13 March 2010

New beginnings...

(New) Beginnings: the point at which something begins; a rudimentary stage or early period (usually used in plural)

Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components.
Novel: new and not resembling something formerly known or used; original or striking especially in conception or style

The beginning of life (or a new chapter in life) is always met with a sense of unease at the unknown. One thing we do know is that it will be anything other than the former things that are familiar. The thought of new beginnings always takes me back to the beginning of human life, child birth. Consider with me the process involved in bringing a new life into this world. There is preparation as the baby turns and engages the birth canal and the mum's body prepares to guide baby through. Then the games begin! I have to admit that I am single and childless and really want children BUT, in the last seven years I have developed a bit of a hobby of collecting the worst birth experiences of my friends and family and even strangers! I know it sounds a bit insane but when I started I thought that by being confronted with the reality of childbirth it would take away the fear...well I WAS WRONG!!! I am now suitable petrified! 

The truth it would seem is that childbirth is painful, feels unnatural and there is a foreign entity that has taken over your body leaving you with little control, if any during the event. Did I mention the PAIN? The purpose with which God added physical pain to out make up is to warn us of impending injury, or injury that has already occurred, basically a warning to beware. The word "pain" comes from the Latin "poena" meaning a fine, a penalty. In our context however, pain refers to the ushering in of new beginnings. Why? you may ask; because there will always be a measure of pain or discomfort in change, usually the more pain the bigger the change. 

Imagine how inconvenient childbirth is for the baby! It has got to be a pretty good deal living in a warm climate, food brought to you, waste taken away, you can sleep all you want to, no bills, not pressure, no catching the flu or competition, no stress and no nonsense...then you get (as my good friend likes to say) 'thrust into existence without anyone asking your opinion on the matter!

So we know that we can choose change, change can happen accidentally, as a matter of course (the world is constantly changing around us) or it can be 'thrust upon us', and yes this is a "when" not an "if" situation. We all like the term 'new beginnings' because it sounds nice, a fresh start in a new place with nice people, a new opportunity something good around the corner. The reality is that new beginnings cannot come about without change. Change is a word that can spell impending doom; for some it is a divorce, being made redundant, a death or even an election in an African country! Most people shy away from and even fear change not realising that through change, we find those novel moments that bring forth new beginnings, new hope and occasion to relies our dreams. The question is, when change comes do we take it head on and view it as a novel moment of opportunity and carpe diem (cease the day!) or do we shy away in fear? 

Unity in seeing

PhotoFriday Challenge contribution to 'Best Friends' 
Unity  The quality or state of not being multiple (oneness);a condition of harmony (one accord); continuity without deviation or change (as in purpose or action);  the quality or state of being made one (unification).

Seeing things differently does not necessarily mean that we are in discord. Consider the body; arms, legs, eyes, feet, mouth, ears...all so very different in sensing, being, acting and participating yet all in one accord. Why does the body work well? Well aside from the fact that it was designed by an intelligent creator; it has a sense of order and each part accepts the other for what it is and the part it plays. Your arm doesn't try to hear any more than your lips try to walk because each part is designed specifically to carry out its function and only in that role does it experience unity with the body and a sense of achieving its purpose.

People are the same in relation to one another. What may seem like an unlikely match may work exceptionally well if each party knows and works within their specific role / function.  Take my dear friend and her other half; they seem to me to argue constantly much like milk and oil they don't seem to have elements that allow them to blend much. If you didn't know them you would think it an ill match indeed! But, upon closer observation one can see that their relationship works even though they are so different. They see the world differently approach life issues differently and respond almost at odds to each other. However, the inner working of their relationship (based on their Christian faith) allows those differences to become complementary and their different ways of seeing provide them with a wider view than their individual narrower views would allow. Their differences draw them together on the basis  and understanding of their faith in love and they have created a new way of seeing as a unit (it doesn't always sound it but there is oneness there!) Being and extrovert does not mean that introverts will be the death of you! You might find that they bring you the balance that you lack... and introverts, it wouldn't hurt you to be a little outgoing would it?

My Uncle John (God bless him!) is in his latter years, a calm, chilled out sort of gentleman who is really an amazing person to know and talk to. Well, when I first met Uncle John as a teen, I was loud, spoke too quickly opinionated and a bit of a bible basher to be honest, basically a handful! So as you can guess an instant clash of personalities! Over the years we did not see much of each other until last year when we both became unwell and trying to recover. I went to visit him with my sister, (at this point I am old and wiser and less 'bashy' with my bible and more graceful). I had started taking pictures of landscapes and Uncle John is a lover of art so, you guessed it, common ground was found and the result is a most treasured friendship.

There are two ways to approach difference; either to reject what we don't know or can't understand like I did with Uncle John or find the unity in a new way of seeing as my two friends did. Uncle John and I got a second chance but not everyone does... 
As people we were created to be relational creatures, hence the constant need for affirmation, acceptance, belonging and love, without which we feel incomplete in some way... Looking beyond ourselves and seeking common ground opens us up to a whole new way of seeing through people we would not ordinarily have come into contact or clicked with. We also gain a new insight into our own lives, who we are, our prejudices, misconceptions and error in thinking... 

The principle is this; 'different' is not to be feared but embraced for it is the bedrock of opportunity for us to discover unity in new ways of seeing and open a whole new world to us... Just the way bonding with my dear uncle opened up the world of art and history to me...


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