Stories from a life in progress.


Today I feel beset by disagreements.  No matter who you are, I'm certain there's a point of disagreement between us somewhere, even if we haven't found it yet.

I don't stand firmly with anyone when it comes to political lines, and a good number of cultural ones.  I reject labels as firmly as I can:  conservative, liberal, traditional, progressive, feminist, humanist, pro-this, anti-that.  Give me a label, and I will understand what it means as thoroughly as I can -- and then I will do my best not to identify as it.  It's the only way I've found I can maintain my ability to THINK, to discover my own mind about issues, and that ability is of the greatest importance to me.

Give me any topic of popular obsession, and chances are I'll disagree with you somewhere on it.  Gun rights?  Very complicated.  Gay marriage?  I am highly ambivalent.  Immigration?  Far more complex than the talking heads boil it down to.

The only label I permit myself to stand on is Christian, and not because it's a source of comfort to do so.  Dear me, no.  Disagreements with people who are supposed to be like family are the most painful.  I disagree with the conservative church on its overemphasis on rules, morality, and literalism at the expense of compassion, and I disagree with the liberal church on its tendency toward relativistic pluralism at the expense of pursuing biblical truth.

Have I managed to disagree with you yet, kind reader?  Never mind if I haven't, it's probably just missing in the details somewhere.  I'm sure if we dug long enough you'd find me highly disagreeable.

For my part, I'm pretty sure that also means you're about to reject me.  Disagreement causes separation.  Not many people excel at disagreeing while maintaining relationships.  I am especially bad at it; if I get even a whiff of disagreement, my impulse is to reject you FIRST, to spare myself the pain of being rejected in the end.

(It doesn't really work very well, because rejecting people FIRST just makes for more separation and pain.  But it's an indication of how traumatic and scary I find the possibility of rejection.)

I feel like I am beset by disagreements these days, and I'm aching with the constant feeling of danger that I'm about to lose people and get hurt.  So I'm putting my disagreement in the open.  Whoever you are, kind reader, I'm pretty sure I disagree with you somewhere.  I sort of hope we can be friends anyway, but I'm pretty sure that you'll want to ditch me once you see that we disagree.  Or maybe I will ditch you first.  It's not personal if I do.  This is one place where I can truthfully say "it's not you, it's me."

I hate disagreements.