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I Will Walk With You 🌈

authenticity empathy relationships Apr 10, 2022

"If you don’t walk as most people do,
Some people walk away from you,
But I won’t! I won’t!

If you don’t talk as most people do,
Some people talk and laugh at you,
But I won’t! I won’t!

I’ll walk with you. I’ll talk with you.
That’s how I’ll show my love for you.

Jesus walked away from none.
He gave his love to ev’ryone.
So I will! I will!

I’ll walk with you. I’ll talk with you.
That’s how I’ll show my love for you."

Words: Carol Lynn Pearson, b. 1939. © 1987 IRI

I've always loved the words to this primary song published in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's Children's Hymnbook. It's a beautiful song. Children are such amazing examples of loving everyone and showing kindness to others who are different. Children are humble, teachable, and very receptive to the Spirit.

As we get older and have more life experience under our belts, we develop belief systems that help us manage the world around us.

One harmful belief we hold tightly to in society today is that we have to surround ourselves with people who are just like us. If they believe like us, look like us, view the world like us, and live like us, we falsely believe we will be happier.

It's a handicap to surround yourself with only like minded people. It's like looking at everything in 8 colors instead of the millions of colors that are really there.

When you surround yourself with people and experiences who act, think, and believe differently than you, it expands your mind in ways you can't even imagine.

If I had to only be friends with people who liked eating vanilla ice cream and wouldn't associate with people who like chocolate ice cream, I'd be missing out on getting to know some pretty great people.

My friends, we don't have to agree with the beliefs of others to love them. We can honor their own difficult life struggles, their choices, their beliefs, and their views. The more I get to know others, the more I can empathize with them and what they believe and see.

Brene Brown says "People are hard to hate close up. Move in." This takes courage and humility but is so rewarding! 

Those who believe differently than me are not lost. (They are not the companion to my single sock that now sits lonely in my laundry room.)

They are not wayward. (They are following the path that their heart calls them to.)

God loves them the same as he loves us. We all have a purpose and place in this world.

In a culture that avoids things that are different or unknown - 

I will sit with you

I will hear you

I will see you

I will honor you

We do not have to be the same to be friends. My life is much richer when I have an entire rainbow of friends in my life. I will respect your agency just as I would want my agency respected.

I am strong enough and confident enough to hold my own beliefs even if they are different with others.

Of all my beliefs, this one stands central to my testimony. I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. He sent his son, my Savior, Jesus Christ to earth to live and atone for me. My Savior loves me.

The rest of the peripheral messy things that don't always add up and I don't always understand are secondary to this central belief of mine.

So if you need a place to sit, you can sit with me. If you need a hug, I'll hug you. I'll walk with you, I'll talk with you. That's how you'll know my love for you. 🌈

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