I’m in the midst of a four day trip with two family members, both of whom I love. Well, I love one of them. The other I’m related to.
I am trying very, very hard, to be kind, and gracious, and patient.
I am also learning that I am not quite as patient as I had thought…
I like to think of myself as being very open to the differences of other people; able and willing, excited even, to see life through someone else’s perspective. To consider another’s point of view, and remember that it can be (and usually is) just as valid as mine.
I can be very opinionated, but I’m almost always open to discussing differing opinions with a willingness to change my own. I can even respectfully agree to disagree, if we can’t bring our opinions closer to one another.
But sometimes… very rarely, but sometimes… I run across an individual so very sure of their own opinions, that they are unwilling to consider anything from any perspective but their own.
And it challenges me. It’s so beyond frustrating, I’m not even sure how to articulate it… not that I won’t try
I’m a Mirror…
And most of the time, I like being a mirror. I get to learn about all different ways of seeing the world, and in the process, I can usually help people learn more about themselves. It’s fun!
But when someone is completely closed off, it’s like trying to mirror a dark room. You might get little hints, patches of slightly less dark… but you can’t really see what’s there. You definitely can’t interact with it (unless you don’t mind the bruised shins you get as you stumble into furniture and trip on rugs)!
This is definitely not my idea of fun
I’m reminding myself hourly that I can choose to be personally offended by the things she says and does… or I can use this as an opportunity to practice loving patience.
Which doesn’t mean I have to love her.
It just means being patient with the part of her that’s just as human and imperfect as I am… I can love the human without necessarily wanting to love her (or even like her that much).
It also means loving myself enough to be patient with her (since being patient feels much better than being annoyed)… as well as with myself, when I’m maybe a little less patient than I’d like to be.
The downside to being into this whole self-discovery thing is that sometimes I’m faced with situations that give me the opportunity to learn things about myself (and yes, sometimes, these are things I don’t really want to learn). For instance, it occurs to me that what really drives me crazy about said relative, is the fact that she is Full of Excuses Woman. Always, there is an excuse.
- Catch her saying something horrendously inappropriate? Well, when she was a kid, that was just the way you talked!
- Call her on being rude and snarky? Well you obviously misunderstood, since that is definitely not what she meant!
- Suggest an idea for how to deal with a situation she’s complaining about? Oh that couldn’t possibly work, because…
The part where we learn a lesson we didn’t want to learn
I have this thing where I absolutely hate when people make endless excuses. Especially when it comes to… well, ok, just about everything. Especially when it really is for just about everything!
So here’s that pesky lesson learning part; turns out, I’ve been making a lot of excuses lately.
- Sorry, can’t spend more time at home with my pets (who are needy little buggers), because I have so much to do.
- Yes, I did say I would do that thing for you, and I’m really sorry I forgot, but I’ve just been so busy.
- And I really do keep meaning to write a new post for my site, but well, you know… there’s so much to do.
I could go on, but I’m pretty sure you get the point… in case you didn’t, the point is, I’ve been making excuses.
Left, right, up and down. There’s always some reason for not doing the things that I otherwise tell myself are very important to me.
So here I am, writing a post. This evening I’m doing that thing I promised to do. And when I get home from my trip, I’ll be cuddling my needy little pets.
Because I’m still very busy, but let’s be honest – if I can spend 5 minutes checking my twitter feed, I can spend that same 5 minutes drafting an email to a friend, or coming up with ideas for a new post… or giving my wonderfully loving pets the attention I’ve raised them to desire
Have you been making excuses? What could you do that you’ve been putting off, and how would it make you feel to get it done?