THREE SIDES

It’s easy to listen to one side of a story. But what happens when we can actually hear both sides?

I am way past fed up with the age old idiotic human behavior of people telling a person or people one side of a story, and no one ever calling the opposing side to hear their side. And I mean NEVER. EVER. 

I believe this is a universal phenomenon which shatters relationships because people are satisfied with one side of any story. One side is not only not enough, but is chock full of its own misinterpretations and exaggerations. In other words, WHISPERING DOWN THE LANE at its most pathological.

How many relationships over the millennia have been eviscerated into nonexistence from “One Side Of A Story”? Truly, the number is incalculable.

No one has ever called me to know my side of a story, not a single time. Absurd, don’t cha think? Insufficient. A dangling participle. A story that has only been half read or heard.

Bias is inevitable. The first person to relate the story to anyone is probably telling a trusted friend or caring relative. Does anyone really believe that a friend or relative is going to call up the person on the opposing side and say, “I’d

really like to hear your side of this dramatic tale.”

Nope. Ain’t happenin’.

This exact scenario happened to my best friend since diapers. This friend has been shunned by her family. Not just those closest but the entirety of her immediate and extended family. She herself did not have children and is divorced. She is also a person who has geographically moved a lot. I mean a ludicrous number of times. She’s in her seventies and her relocations are in the high twenties. What does this mean? Well, she never really put down firm roots anywhere, and therefore, no close coterie of friends and allies. At this point in her life, she knows she will not be moving again, and there is difficulty in cultivating brand new friendships at this age because most people already have their network of friends.

What makes all of this more poignant, is that most of the people who have abandoned diaper-friend, shunned her, refused her and maligned her, have no idea what the real story is. They know a distorted half. Will this mess ever be resolved before anyone on either side passes on? Don’t know, but don’t think the chances are high. Ego, pride, and a certainty that their version of the story is the gospel, may keep any or all of them from ever knowing the truth.

It is heartbreaking for my friend since diapers. 

So, here I sit, wondering what to do about this phenomenon that I truly believe is universal. Not that I’m implying I know the communication rules of any particular society. Of course, I don’t, and there may indeed be some societies in which broken communication is fixed so that the tribe can live in harmony. I think I’d like to live there, if there is a there, there.

Side Three: Our wondrous omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and sovereign GOD knows both sides without the exaggeration and distortion. Afterall, He knows our thoughts before we think them and our needs before we need them. Surely, He was more than simply aware of the issues and rancor that had been diving below the surface

for decades between diaper-friend and her family. These were the issues that were about to burst into full bloom

and ultimately, deadly decay. He knew. He absolutely knew every nuance. I can only presume that He wants the people involved in the mess to clean up their own mess. Or am I missing something? Does GOD have a completely different perspective and a different set of facts that none of us earthlings has? OF course He does. He’s the all- knowing King, the Creator, the Alpha and Omega, The First and the Last, the supremely supreme Top-Dog.

Oooooops, I forgot an important point. I was often physically present during diaper-friend and her family’s interactions. My friend was not innocent and she knew it. She had verbally rejected a member of her family. Rejection was inevitable and she knew what she was risking. But her health had been deeply affected by being used and abused for multiple decades, and she really had to back off. Two of her physicians told her to run from whatever

was making her sick.

So, broken into humpty-dumptied splattered shatters, she moved to another state and stayed for twenty years. Had her mother not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she may have spent the rest of her life there. 

I sure do wish GOD would whisper to me the thoughts I have not thought that keep me from a cohesive and permanent solution. If I knew, I would put it on billboards and shout it from rooftops. I would help my diaper-friend know exactly what to do and say. Or not say. Maybe GOD wanted some of these relationships to end. They reeked with toxicity.

There is one thing I am sure of; some of the players would have to consider a change of heart. And this is not something one can do for anyone else. To change one’s heart, one must earnestly wish to. The lies and distortion that cement thoughts into beliefs, are only used out of insecurity, jealousy, feeling threatened, feeling inadequate, or wanting to control the narrative. These are all forms of bondage, and bondage has extremely rock-solid armor to protect itself from outside threat. I get it. I understand.

I was told a few decades ago by a total stranger, after a prayer meeting, that GOD would not be able to use me for His purposes until I was released from bondage. My initial response was, “In bondage to whom?” In bondage to what?” It took years to peek under the protection of my own armor and acknowledge the ways in which I was in bondage and the people to whom I was in bondage. It was not a short list and it did not take only a few tidy minutes

to rid myself of the constraints. It took lots of years and therapy and prayer and confession before I felt free to spread my wings and take to the skies with abandon.

I passionately pray that I and diaper-friend and people worldwide will awaken to the truth that there are three sides to every story. I also pray that all of us become brave enough to ask for the second side of a story when presented with only one viewpoint.

My final prayer is that we seek GOD’s guidance and viewpoint and that He helps us with this crucial endeavor. 

It is a must for the next step in both spiritual and personal development.