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428612_10151659415696869_1904792896_nI have this friend Lauren. She’s a lot more rational than me; she’s calm and she’s grounded (okay, I’m some of those things too just not nearly as much.) But when we talk it’s always great because the differences in our personalities help each other understand other people and how to think from other people’s perspective. She often says to me things like: “Well, while you meant it to be to the point, it comes across a little rude.” Talk about honesty.

I need that though. We all do.

When I think about anything in life – be it mental health, life experiences, personality differences, faith or culture we honestly only see things from one side: ours. It’s not our fault but it’s definitely a roadblock. It creates ignorance and assumptions, misconceptions and false accusations, it builds walls where there should be bridges, and it makes everything a little darker.

I hate to admit my own judgmental thoughts to you; but if I don’t then I will continue to foster an environment that makes it okay to think that the idea: I am right because this is what I know is valid.

It’s not valid – not even close.

You’re experience is valid; but so is the person’s next to you. The more people I meet, the more stories I hear, the more I witness, I realize that we only limit, prevent, and sabotage our chances for understanding, growth, change and hope by blinding ourselves by our own perspective.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand