Learn past "that’s not fair."
Sitting in a coffee shop, I overhear a grown man raising his voice on the phone “But that’s not fair!” He gets a bit heated, starts pacing back and forth and the conversation ends abruptly. The next words out of his mouth were calm and collected, thanking the barrista…
Our emotions can grasp hold of our mouth, mind and heart if we don’t take a step back and look at the significance of the feelings and what they mean, not only for us but those around us. We aren’t perfect; I get it! Quick feelings will arise but as my calm-hubby often reminds me, we are given two ears and one mouth for a reason AND victory is in submission. These two coordinating concepts can bring upon peace in such an enlightened way if you allow it.
Nothing is “fair” – from childhood into adulthood you often FEEL like the forces are working against you.
“No, son, you can’t eat your entire bag of candy tonight.” – “That’s not fair.”
“No, sweetie, you can’t stay out late tonight, it’s a school night.”
“No, you can’t get out of taking that core class, it’s required to graduate.”
“No, you can’t drive that speed limit, it’s reckless.”
“No, you can’t avoid the penalty fee, you were late.”
“No, you can’t treat people like that. Karma is a…”
The world is full of “No’s” and at the end of the day, it doesn’t seem like any of it is fair…but rules are rules and they are meant to create order, even if they don’t seem purposeful all the time. Instead of getting angry, disheartened, or apathetic over it – why not change it. Be a rule breaker in the best sense. Take a stand for the purpose and the depth behind it, not because your feelings were hurt, but because it will create a ripple effect of change. You can’t do this without digging deeper on the why’s, how’s, when’s of the issue. Don’t blurt out “that’s not fair” unless you have a solution to change it. Listen more than you speak; it teaches patience and keeps you learning. Take a loss as a learning tool; it doesn’t make you a loser, it makes you a warrior.
People view religion in this same perspective of what’s fair, what’s not, and the quick emotions that lead from religious statements. So many people don’t have their eyes opened to move their faith past the rules. Maybe you grew up in a certain strict denomination, you had to wear a dress, you had to kneel when you prayed, you had to sing out of the hymn book, you had to go to Sunday school…I have never been more free to break those rules and I want you to find the same freedom. Not to create chaos or to diminish others in their faith, but to feel empowered and remind others that our purpose isn’t to follow the rules and have this streamline experience of life – God has called us to so much more!
I feel God isn’t calling us to compare what’s fair and unfair. He isn’t even calling us to be rule followers. Yes, His commandments have great weight and great purpose, but they aren’t rigid and they aren’t impossible. It depends on how you are living your life.
There are different zones of living. We can live in the comfort zone, the panic zone – or the ideal state of the learning zone. I’ve moved my faith through all zones throughout my life. The comfort of “I’m a Christian, I’m a rule follower.” The disaster and devastation of the panic zone where I felt that I couldn’t keep it together any longer, even the “is God real?” questions and heart break. To the learning zone – where I get the joy of diving deeper into the “Who am I? Who is He? Why does He love me? How wide does He love me?” I’m ready to teach people how to live in the same realm with their own faith and I am empowered to do so because I’ve experienced all of the zones and I’ve felt all of the “that’s not fairs” of life too.
If you are living your life feeling like “Life isn’t fair” you are probably in the panic zone or in a very dull state of comfort. Start listening and start learning. And stop battling the concept of losing and instead change your perspective on what a loss really is and the opportunity that arises after you lose. If it’s “not fair”…why? And can you change it – not just for you, but for everyone.