It’s easy to assume that to be a functioning person in the world that you have to have opinions. What’s your stance on abortion? On veganism? On war? On politics? It’s in your face daily that to have an opinion is a good thing… you need to know where you stand on any topic of concern. Why? “If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for everything,” an old saying goes.
Yet I can’t help but wonder… What’s so bad about falling or questioning the Sacred Cow of Opinion?
Maybe that’s what happened to me when I was 17 and pregnant and my whole world of Christian faith took a tumble. I fell. I sinned. I was pregnant and unmarried in 1979. The solid rock foundation of faith I thought I was standing on seemed to crumble as the authorities in my life up to that point couldn’t answer my faith based questions or offer sound guidance for me in my unique circumstance. One of the biggest taboos I broke at that time was the taboo to never question my faith or to sin/make a mistake, at least in such an obvious way.
Yet from having fallen out of line, I opened up to greater awareness… I could see that outside authorities were not to be trusted as blindly as I had done so before, and that if I were to survive and thrive, I would have to find the strength within myself to guide my life and that of my child. Questioning my former opinions that church, parents and preachers knew everything and I knew nothing was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Are we humans destined to form opinions? If so, what’s their value… and what exactly is an opinion? Google says, “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” There you have it. Opinions need to be tested, like I did in my late teens.
Is _____ true? How do you know that it’s true? I would add, and once you know it’s true, would you be willing to question your own opinions?
Opinions and having them is another form of trying to be certain… a very human attempt to manage uncertainty or mental anxiety. We can easily cling to the rightness of our perspective because it feels good. It feels good to have something solid to hold onto. But when we hold on to an opinion, as if it is THE RIGHT WAY, nothing else can get in. Opinions need to be tested and validated to see if they actually work.
What if you could enjoy your opinions and other’s opinions and not have to take them as RIGHT OR WRONG, but merely delicious certainties you or they have had in a moment in time, valid in and of themselves for what they are? What if, instead of having to purport “right and wrong” you could find “what works/doesn’t work”?
What if in every moment you are willing to be the Fool, to fall, to let the light in through the cracks and to suspend your opinions?
What would happen if you tested the validity of at least one of your opinions per day?
Who would you be if you held the opposite opinion even if for 5 minutes?
How does it feel in your body to let go of an opinion that no longer serves you?
Letting go, falling, cracking open… again and again,
Juna & Sabine
IMHO, these meditations are superlative! :)
Broken is opening…and opening… Thank you for articulating this so beautifully, Juna!
Always grateful for your comments, Penn! Love you, Juna ;-)