I have known one of my very dear friends for over eight years and she also happens to be one of my long-term clients whose flyers, cd covers, and newsletters I create. I really enjoy working with her because of her passion, drive, and Purpose. She’s delicious, really, and someone I have continually experienced as compassionate and loving. A multi-talented artist who can pick up any instrument and know it in 15 minutes, who sings with the voice of embodied angels, Leraine is one of those people who I count myself so very blessed to have in my circle.
Because I do her regular newsletters, I monitor her database. I follow up on bounces and keep her database clean so that we have a great open and click-thru rate. It is fun to watch her reach growing and to be witness to how she interacts with others. As I prepared for her most recent newsletter, I logged into her account and a report popped up about her last newsletter. Generally, I don’t pay attention to the opt-outs, but I noticed there were three on this last one and that was unusual for her. Clicking further into the report, I discovered that one of the exiting people had left this comment:
I was stunned. I sat in front of my computer, staring at the words with my jaw flapping like a dying fish. I couldn’t make myself understand what this person had said about someone I love and know so well. My brain cascaded through the years of being in Leraine’s presence or in witnessing her with others to find an example of this person’s experience of Leraine. However, there was nothing that aligned to this description. It just isn’t what I know to be true about Leraine. I was so kerfuffled over this description of her that I even ran it by another person who has known Leraine for several years. She was shocked and stunned, as well.
I have thought about that person’s parting words for many days, my brain warping and bending around another’s experience and still being unable to conform to their experience. Try as I might, I couldn’t make myself believe the words. It was a very stark example of what happens when others are experiencing life through filters that do not match mine. My filters tell me that Leraine is pure love, accepting, humane, and an activist for the Divine. This person’s filters showed her a Leraine that was intolerable, judgmental and unkind. Our filters were polar opposites of one another.
My relationship with Leraine has developed entirely different lenses than that of this person and I feel sad that she is missing out on seeing the Leraine I see. While she is entitled to her own experience of Leraine, as painful as that must have been, the good news is, she doesn’t have to change her filter to match mine. Thankfully, I don’t have to change mine to match hers either.
When we are faced with experiences in life where we are viewing things with “hard” eyes that are firmly attached to viewing someone or something in a specific way, we have a choice. We can continue to use our “hard” eyes, or we can invite open, gentle vision to show us something we may not be seeing. And when we view the world through open, gentle eyes, we experience the world as open and gentle.
I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
Feel free to jot down what you’re thinking in the comment box below.