Knowing & Being Known

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Knowing & Being Known | In choosing how we relate to others, we start at the heart, that is, we start with believing the other to be very good and made in God’s image and likeness | #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #TipsforConnection #OpennesswithGod #KnowingGod #Body #Mind #Spirit #RespectingtheBoundariesofOthers #Bound #RespectingBound #BoundariesofOthers #Knowing&BeingKnownKnowing & Being Known

In choosing how we relate to others, we start at the heart, that is, we start with believing the other to be very good and made in God’s image and likeness. This is a central tenet of our faith as Catholics and is the heart of our respect for human life. As human beings, we are all works in progress. Since this is the truth of the Lord’s relationship to us, why would it be any less true for someone else? If we stop at the fact that he sees us this way and don’t extend the same to others, we risk being egocentric and arrogant. We also call into question how much we believe in God’s unchanging love for us. Very quickly, we can become either an idol or insecure in the Lord’s love. Looking at others with God’s view creates in us a capacity for empathy, reverence, and respect of the other that we cannot attain any other way. This is a part of taking on God’s mind for creation.

The quote from Scottish author and theologian Ian Maclaren, “Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle,”1 encourages us to imitate how the Lord relates to each of us. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to assume we know what is going on with a person based on what we perceive on the outside. If we are going to look for a fundamental truth to guide our interactions with others, this is the safest one; we cannot possibly know what is going on inside a person based on their exterior. Many times we are not even fully aware of what is operating within us on the deepest level.

We relate to the people in our lives with differing degrees of intimacy and yet we can communicate the concept of knowing others as very good in simple yet powerful ways. If you don’t already do this, the next time you go to a store or a restaurant, look the person who is assisting you in the eye with the mindset that they are a person performing a service, not the service itself. They are not a means to an end. Smile. Ask them how they’re doing and truly listen to their response. It’s amazing how much a person is touched by being seen and heard as an individual.

We all need to be known and as we’ve discussed, healthy boundaries help us to safely navigate this. Remember our focus should be on being rather than doing. The same way the Lord called the apostles to be fishers of men, rather than to do the catching, it is our responsibility to see and hear others. We can’t necessarily make someone feel seen and heard or known to be very good. How another will respond to us is a matter of their view of themselves. What we can do is that which God has called us to, to reverence them and see them for the valued creation they are. This fosters connection, but we can only do our part.

May the Lord give you peace!

Margaret

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