Good and kind

“You made it seem so…” Hannah’s voice on the cassette tape.

Clay pulls off the headphones. “Easy? Is she kidding me? I was s— myself. She’s not telling the truth about the way things happened.”

Tony. “She’s telling her truth.”

(SPOILER ALERT)

The above scene is from 13 Reasons Why, a Netflix original series about a teen’s suicide, Hannah, and the tapes she recorded before her suicide. Clay’s tape was number 11. However, the late Hannah’s voice on his tape tells Clay he doesn’t belong as part of her reasons why as he is “good and kind.” But he needed to be part of her pre-suicide recordings to help explain why she did what she did. “I didn’t deserve you,” her voice tells Clay through the tape. “I would have ruined you.”

Clay wrestles with his insecurities that stopped him from pushing in, finding out why Hannah aggressively told him to go away before she died. He pictures a scene where he does probe to find out what is really going on instead of walking away with an ego bruised, and hurt feelings.

This past summer I found myself the centre of a Circle of Trust. Based on Parker Palmer’s teachings, the circle is a sacred space where one can show up exactly as they are. At first I was uncomfortable with the idea of no eye contact when speaking, yet the freedom from not judging or trying to read others while I talked let me show up in an authentic way I had not experienced before. And when I respected the space of others by listening only, I allowed them the safe space to be open, vulnerable, and true.

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With gentle questions and spaces of silence, I could wrestle out my conflict, and express what I’d been fearful of ever saying out loud, or even admitting.

There was no judgement, no advise giving, no preaching, no telling me what God says is right and wrong.

And light was brought into my shadows.

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Friend, I wonder how we can create safe spaces for people to show up completely?

Can we nudge our agendas, our bias, our own insecurities, our own truths aside to just love on people exactly as they are?

Can we allow others to just be? Can we go beyond our own fears if one walks a path different than how we think is the right way and just let them be open with us without trying to fix or control?  And help them feel truly safe to share openly what is really going on

As it is in the bringing ourselves fully into the light and in the receiving of unconditional love and acceptance in return, when healing and transformation  can take place. 

Allowing others to just be in unconditional spaces isn’t easy.  My believes in the right way to live can get in the way–my own morals, judgments, and truth–to allow others to be completely open with me. However, I can continue to go deeper in a lesson from the The Parable of the Ten Virgins that each of us has to find and bring our own oil. I’m not to force my way, what I think is best, on another I can, though, keep my lamp lit to help others see to find their own way.

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Hannah in 13 Reasons Why carried deep secrets. Although a fictionalized portrayal of teen suicide, I believe it represents a clear reflection of how secrets, how fear of expressing our truth and our struggles can lead to despair within ourselves, separation from others, and pain to the ones in our lives who are “good and kind.” When we don’t give that safe space of no judgement, no agenda for another to open up his/her inner life, our whole world suffers.

And when we do give that safe, sacred space to another to be completely open and free we allow the light of unconditional Love to get through.

And Love always makes the world a better place.

“The highest form of love is the love that allows intimacy without the annihilation of difference.”  Parker Palmer

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 The Message

 

 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Good and kind

  1. I haven’t watched that show, but Hannah’s, “I would have ruined you,” is horrifying. It’s a lie and she believes it wholeheartedly. That’s the problem. Do we leave someone in the lie if we know the Truth?

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    1. Yes, it sure was a lie she believed! But to her it wasn’t a lie unfortunately. In the story, she’d already passed away before anyone knew that she was feeling that way. and able to help her see the Truth that she was accepted, and loved, and valuable. Such an important question you ask! Thanks for your comment Sandi!

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  2. We all have to learn that what we see could be an effect of a bigger issue. I chose to become estranged from a close relative because my husband and I ‘couldn’t take any more of her stuff’. She has been gone for almost two years. I have come to the conclusion that she had mental issues that she chose not to recognize or deal with. I has been a sobering experience for me.

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    1. Hi Cecelia, Yes, I know I still am learning that there is much more beyond than what I see! It’s so important too, to have healthy boundaries for the ones we love and for ourselves. But it isn’t easy for sure. Thankfully, we have the truth of God’s love that is limitless and perfect.

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  3. Thanks Lynn for the reminder of the importance of listening. “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19 (-: Ker

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  4. That sounds like such a tragic, yet powerful movie, Lynn. The circle idea sounds so interesting. It would be hard for me to not look at the one who is talking. And I think I’d still be afraid of sharing unless it was with people I can trust. Oh, how we need that unconditional love in our lives! As always, I love your photos! The first one makes me wish I could sit on a rock and reflect. 🙂 Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Hi Trudy, To be guided to talk to the centre of the circle instead of eye contact with anyone was indeed very strange at first. I’d recommend just trying it with a close friend, or spouse. It’s interesting the freedom we feel when not looking at the other for validation or understanding when sharing. Then we really share and layers start to unfold that we’ve been stuffing due to possibly fear of judgement from another, was my experience! Love and hugs back to you!

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  5. The photos are stunningly beautiful and the words provoking and essential to consider if we are going to reflect Jesus. This is a great post! I have not seem the film and may not view it given my clinical background and how often I heard that from the person sitting across the room from me telling me their stories, but the review was used so well by you in this post! Well done, my friend!!

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  6. To give the simple gift of quiet presence can sometimes be a hard thing, especially if we’re prone to rescuing, fixing, saving. What a lovely treasure to find safe people who gently point us to the One who loves us most of all …

    Thanks, Lynn … this has been a thoughtful piece. Weekend joys to you.

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  7. Yes, Linda, our self-serving egos can sure get in the way of allowing others to just show up! I know I don’t like when people tell me what to do, so why would I impose that on another? 🙂 yet still sometimes do. In mid-life, still learning what Love is really is! Weekend joys to you as well.

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  8. I recently listened to the audio book “13 Reasons Why”- it was profoundly compelling and I’m REALLY glad I did. It gives me a deeper awareness of what many of our teens experience and I know several who would probably say they can relate to much of what Hannah said in those tapes. And yet, aren’t we all similar to Hannah in how we have our secret thoughts and lives we rarely reveal to others?

    It makes me wonder how many of us are able to share our truths and be loved purely and without any conditions or expectations or as you said, our own agendas. If we are truly in tune to our own hearts, we can see that this is prolific in our relationships.

    I have some work to do.

    Thank you for this, Lynn. ❤

    "And when we do give that safe, sacred space to another to be completely open and free we allow the light of unconditional Love to get through." <— LOVE.

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  9. Hi Lynn! I haven’t seen this show, but there was all kinds of controversy in the newspapers about the content.
    I know that being open to hearing anything from anyone, especially those we love, is the key to inclusion and understanding. How often I must fail at this… I get distracted, selfish etc. And how insidiously that kind of exclusion can build up and cause harm.
    Your post really convicts me Lynn. I am thankful for that, complacency is so hurtful. I have to challenge myself to be totally open to all, even those I disagree with.
    Ceil

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  10. Lynn, thank you for sharing this post. I haven’t watched the show. Though I’m praying about if I should. After three suicides at our sons’ school, our community is very sensitive to it. And yet, I know, as has been mentioned, many teens deal with some/all of what Hannah did.

    And you’re right. Love has so much power. If we’ll just live it out. I’ve never been a part of a circle of trust. It sounds like it would be intimidating at first, but very beneficial as a person is able to share completely. Having safe people in our lives are key.Thank you so much for sharing all of this. You have me thinking…..

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