Very many of my strongest connections to others come not from an easy compatibility but from the hard work of laboring with another person through the differences. If, as I believe, the Divine is beyond measure and beyond definition, and if, as I believe, each of us is a unique manifestation of that Divine Energy in our physical and spiritual "bodies" as well as in our perspectives, it is imperative that we reach out to each other as we are not as we believe we should be. I am but one spark of the Divine driven by a desire to join in the company of Light. Too often, I seek out those who are most like me. Worse, I try to make others into my own image, but to mistake my own reflection for the inner Light of another soul is to surrender myself to a tragic and profound loneliness.
So much of our identities are both constructed and relational and yet one would never know this from the way that folks lob defining words at other people like weapons. Words are tricky things. They help us communicate ideas even as they interrupt the freedom ideas require to grow. There are a million things I could say on this topic but I will focus only on one bit of advice. Instead of defining the person sitting across from you, that person who frustrates your conceptions and definitions and irritates the snot out of you with their "wrong"-ness, try listening to them instead. Listen deeply and patiently. Listen passionately and faithfully. Let them tell their own stories. Let them define their own words. Hear them into Fullness. When you are unsure, ask for clarification. Perhaps they are using your cherished words differently than you do. Perhaps their experience taught them different truths than the ones you love. Be cognizant that it is possible that they too are learning what it means to be a human being and that they too are doing the best they can in the circumstances of their own lives and that miraculously, you have met them, this facet of the Divine, this Spark of Life, in your own travels. A million circumstances could have kept them from you and yet here they are with you! Here is another story, a story you have never heard before, and you may hear it if you are willing. This is a miraculous and joyful thing though it may also be hard and bitter in the execution. All Thought is seeking to k