Day 7 Letter G
We believe we would react to situations in particular ways or that we would behave differently than someone else until we are placed in the other person’s shoes. Once we put those shoes on that were once worn by someone else; we not only have new shoes, but a new pair of new glasses too.
Those who accept us where we are despite any decisions we are making at the time; are giving us grace to grow. These are those people who no matter where we are or what we do in our lives; they love us anyway. They do not judge us, because they understand. They listen, they advise, and they care.
The concept of allowing one grace to grow is a concept that many should grasp. Once grasped, one will find themselves no longer in a position that they feel “above” someone for making better life decisions. They will not utter phrases such as: “I can’t believe they ___” “I would never”, “He/She shouldn’t ____” You won’t believe what ____ did now” etc.
I have observed that when I utter phrases like those mentioned above; I am quickly served a piece of humble pie. When I can’t understand people, their lifestyle, behavior, and their decisions I am often given a situation shortly after; where I can. It may not be an identical situation, but it is a situation that allows me to comprehend where they were at that time, and what they were thinking. Or better yet, a situation where I can relate to their emotions.
I have written often about the fact that we are all given the same lessons throughout our lives and that the lesson plans slightly differ. One may experience grief through the lost of a parent, another through the loss of a child. One may experience adultery through their parents, or through a marriage of their own. Nonetheless, the emotional processes are the same.
No matter the format of the lesson, the lessons eventually produce the same results. We will all face temptations, and struggles. We will have to find a place and time at which we will have to forgive ourselves and each other.
We will all feel: neglect, abandonment, taken for granted, mistreated, disliked, unloved, and many other emotions at some point in our lives. The lessons differ, but the emotions are the same.
Grace is essential to provide for others; because we all need it to grow. Those who accept us despite our choices have allowed us grace to grow. Those who watch us make a mistake but love us anyway, are one of a kind.
For Today: Find someone in your life that has a situation that you can’t or couldn’t at one point understand. Analyze what emotions that person may have been feeling at that time, and compare it to a situation in your life where you experienced the same emotions.
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*We are one another’s God-given mirror *
Everyone has heard the old sayings “What you don’t like in others, is what you don’t like about yourself.” “They are just your God-given mirror” etc. Is there truth to those? Could it be, that you too, were at one point guilty of the same behaviors that you don’t find appealing in someone else?
I believe that there is truth to those sayings. If you stop and think about it, most people can’t stand a liar! It’s not to say that they have never lied, heck I can’t think of a person in the world that hasn’t. I do feel, however, the reason most do not like liars is because they have suppressed the behavior, after having learned from their own negative experience with it. It produces nothing positive, and most that have experienced the repercussions of a lie, have no desire to experience them again.
Odds are, the person that despises a liar may perhaps tell little white lies to their spouse or a friend. Wether it be the true price of that newly purchased item, or how much the vacation REALLY cost, it happens. Or perhaps when they were a child, they lied. Perhaps they got caught and taught that such behavior isn’t acceptable.
Now take that “one friend” for example. He/She drives you absolutely nuts! What is it about them that drives you nuts? When you find it, which is sometimes very easy, think about what you have done in your life that resembles what they are doing. If you can’t think of anything you have done similar right off-hand, dig deeper! Go all the way back into your childhood, for as far back as you can remember. If you still haven’t come up with a situation that compares, then compare the emotions. What have you done that would cause someone else to feel the way this person is making you feel emotionally? There has to be something!
We are all capable of the same things. The same choices, the same dream, the same mistakes etc. Although I may not make the same decision as you in the exact situation you are in, and our circumstances at times may be different, it’s not to say that I wouldn’t ever make the same decision. It’s not to say that I have never made that decision at all. It simply says, either I have done it and suppressed the negative behavior, or I haven’t been placed in a situation yet, where I may make the same choice.
So often in the last few years I have been approached by women from various walks of life that admire my life from afar as a single mother. I don’t think they admire the life itself so much, but they certainly admire my relationship with my children and can feel the peace and harmony in our home.
They come to me for advice as their marriages and family deteriorate because the grass looks so much greener on this side, to them anyway. I don’t sense that it is the grass appearing greener that attracts them to it. Instead I think they crave that sense of self-worth. They want an identity outside of “the wife” or “the mom of ___.” They want to feel strong, independent, empowered, and like they have a voice. Most of the time, they just want to be heard, but, he just won’t listen. They just want a friend, someone to inspire them and motivate them. Someone that believes in the words that they speak.
Typically when I’m asked my opinion on the matter, what I tell them is this:
The grass isn’t greener. You see, when I jumped off the fence I landed on a pile of dirt. All I could see before the jump was all the pretty grass that others planted. That was their grass. It was up to me to plant the seeds, fertilize it, water it, grow it, and now I get to mow it.
There are still seasons of dryness, and during those times I’m lucky to even have a garden. But, the grass is at least growing. It is growing because it is meticulously cared for and nurtured. It was never just magically there, it took a lot of hard work. Sometimes I worked for hours upon hours to get one little patch, and at other times friends and family arrived to help me get the job done.
So although to the naked eye it seems greener now, you too will start with the same seed and pile of dirt that I once did. You will even find that dogs are still dogs, and will still pee and poop on it. You can build whatever you want on it, it’s a blank canvas! But it is up to you, and only you. You can only count on you, and it will be a long hard road. I am here if you need me no matter what you decide!
I urge them to find another way, and I urge them to find themselves. Some choose to take the advice they asked for, and some choose to ignore it and learn the hard way, just as I did. I do know, however, whatever they do decide that eventually they will see that they too, were guilty of admiring from afar something they didn’t plant. And that my friend, is a harsh lesson to learn. I highly recommend you try alternatives before taking that route, because whether you stay or go, at some point you will have to face yourself. And you can find yourself, right where you are. There is no need to make life more complicated.
We are all only one phone call, one conversation, one email, or one text from falling to our knees. You just never know when life will take an unexpected change. The best way to prepare for this situation that could happen at any given second is:
1.) Spread love, its contagious! And most contagious when shown through one’s actions.
2.) Be true to your word, it is who you are!
3.) Have character, it defines you!
4.) Be strong in both mind & spirit, it prevents self destruction.
5.) Dream it, believe it, & do it! Life is too short for anything less.
6.) Don’t burn bridges, you never know when you need to cross them.
7.) Have faith, it keeps you alive.
8.) Have hope, it increases faith.
9.) Leave no kind words unspoken, people can’t read your mind!
10.) Live each day as though you were writing your obituary.
11.) Never be too proud to say I am sorry.
There is nothing worse than losing someone you love and feeling like that relationship never reached it’s potential. Live each moment as though it were your last and treat everyone around you as though it were the last time you were to see them.
If everyone adopted this 10 step process into their life, we just might change the world. However, since it is likely that not everyone will read this and adopt this plan… we can only change ourselves.