How to see a human being?

What a glorious human being! The physical animal, the energy, the love, she shines. Her arm moves, her sleeve pulls back, I see her wrist, and my breath catches in wonder.

Interpreting the eighth commandment, “Do not bear false witness,” Luther said we should explain others’ actions in the most generous way possible. I learned that from this video, starting at 21.30.

As Nadia Bolz-Weber says, Luther has answered the fundamental attribution error, whereby we say we did something because of circumstances, but others do things because of their character. Or we interpret our actions more generously than anyone else’s. I see God in her, and it is overwhelming. I fear seeing God in everyone: it would take all of my attention.

Others see God in me. I seem able to help one regulate her emotions and see more clearly. I am dimly aware “Rescuing” is a bad thing. I know that approaching life from a victim-standpoint is a bad thing- being clear about what is possible, what I can change, what I can do, is necessary. If I can bless her, I will. And I am abashed at her respect. I know she does not see all of me, that underneath there is anger and fear which I keep a firm lid on until it explodes.

Yet others see me as not much, really. There I am in poor clothes and a dirty cycle helmet or aged wig and they do not respect me; and I fall into a state of responding as if I am not worthy of respect. Then I see how I have been, and wonder, why was I like that, self-abasing? How can I see what I am doing, at the time, and reconnect to my powerful, glorious, beautiful self that others see?

Luther produced that sublime wisdom, and my antitheist friends amassed detail about how he was antisemitic. I have no idea what case might be made to mitigate his antisemitism, but say it was part of a tradition half way between the German Crusade and the Holocaust. Iris Murdoch posited a concentration camp guard who is a kind father. Does his wickedness mean that he is not really a good father? Steven Moffatt put a brilliant line in the mouth of a man convicted of murder: “Everyone’s a murderer, you just haven’t met the right person yet”.

In 1986 I realised that I see myself as the centre of the universe, and as totally worthless, and both of these self-images were insane. I tried to come to a rational view between, and a good shot was,

I am a human being.
Unique, ineffably beautiful.
One in seven billion.

I am most destructive when I suppress my anger, out of fear of it, and then it bursts out, surprising me. The parts of me which most perplex, shame or frighten me are the parts most needing my love. What is good and beautiful in this neglected, malnourished, shameful part?

If I can see it as good and beautiful, it will become so.

Trying to accept my transsexuality, I thought, I am opposites- Scots and English, loving the country and the city, loving empathy and relating and emotion, and loving patient rationality, teasing out the meaning of a clause in a regulation. I am man and woman. It’s not opposites, it’s apparently incompatible ways of being, or even just different ways of being. I could be both. I could be all of these things.

And so I could be the still point of the turning world, and all that I see as worthless, all at the same time. I am not one thing. I am too complex, too great for my own conscious understanding. And, I am a human being. If I am that complexity, that brilliance and beauty, so must everyone else be.

I work out a way to realise there is that of God in everyone, as I catch glimpses of it. I will get to my aim, or perhaps I just need to see it is already happening:

God in me is dancing with God in every thing.

I am beautiful, complex, mysterious, dark, magnificent. And so are you.

I can’t do more than one of these Adult Child meetings in a day. Even doing one, sometimes I find myself zoning out, reading on the computer. Why? Does something feel like a threat to me? How can I make it a blessing? Interpreting another’s action in the most generous way possible, rather than judging it- just seeing it, for I can only see clearly with eyes of love- I thereby excavate myself, my dark secrets, and more becomes possible for me.

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