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  • slivermoon22@aol.com
    Aug 9, 2004
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      First Impressions
      Our long term perceptions of people are often made with first and second impressions. Gosh, when I seriously consider this, it is mind boggling.
      First of all, I have been mistaken for a sweet, old fashion Mommy type by those that meet me for the first time, in person. While there is a part of me that could be described that way, it is not too close to the main mark. My husband describes me as a combo of Ellen DeGeneres (the comedian), Katherine Hepburn (the actress) and Ross Perot (the politician). I would agree on this in large part. I often wonder how strangers could perceive me in certain ways. Usually, when they get to know me, they laugh at their first impressions.
      I don't wish to be summed up in a handshake, or a chat on the soccer field. I am never a 3 D movie in front of people I do not know well. I am polite, kind, and try to be personable.  But, that is just one tiny aspect of a huge picture. Unfortunately, people make their assumptions about me in first and second impressions and feel a need to hold me there. Why is that? When they see that I am also a little wild and crazy, or very passionate about some things, it is sometimes difficult for people to make the switch, or allow for the larger person. Plus, there is a general feeling I suspect, that anyone my age is matured by now and isn't such a goof. But, I am all of these things. All of them at certain times, with certain people, in certain circumstances. I am never all things all at one time.
      I wish we could allow the space for people to unfold (good and bad) in front of us over a longer period of time. A lifetime perhaps. I wish we could throw away the files we keep in our heads, that categorize people and keep them stuck in first impressions.
      I wish we wouldn't experience shock at someone's behavior, only because we didn't allow for a full bodied spirit.
      I wish we could see a person for the first time and automatically acknowledge that what we are seeing is a tiny fraction of who they are.
      I wish we could really understand that there is joy AND sadness in everyone we meet. There is hope AND despair, love AND hate, war AND peace. We are so much of every thing. I wish we could know this and accept this, and let it be ok for ourselves, and everyone else.
      I wish people wouldn't take responsibility for who I am.
      I may be something in 1989 and something very different in 2004, but people might mistake that for something it is not. Perhaps I have changed a bit; evolved a bit. Some might think, "Oh my, she has really gone off the deep end since we saw her last!" Yet, they no nothing about my journey, and how, or why I got to where I am. They make an assumption based only the last few interactions with me, even if these took place 10 years earlier. They do not know about my teen's mental illness, or my husband's deep depression, or the death of my baby, or the times I cried to sleep at night. They do not know that rainbows and waterfalls save my life. They do not know that a beautiful rose can take my breath away. They do not know that even with all of this, I am remarkably happy. They do not know how I pray deeply each day and follow my own heart, wherever that takes me. People make assumptions, that are often incorrect.
      And, I have done the same. I have done all of these things. I see it first in me.
      On this day, may we all open our hearts to a deeper, more profound love of ourselves, and others. May we allow for the larger person, over a lifetime.
      May we accept, love and forgive all things in one another.
      Love, Sheree
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