ABC’s of Life Series — Day 7 Letter G : Give Others Grace To Grow

ABC’s of Life

Day 7 Letter G

Give Others Some Grace To Grow

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. 

 

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

So What Is There To Get? Some People Stay Friends After A Divorce

I guess you could say this blog has been a long time coming. It probably hadn’t written itself till now because, well, I just wasn’t ready. This blog is dedicated to all of you who have ever uttered this phrase:  “I just don’t get it”

Humans in general often struggle to accept in their lives  that which they do not, cannot, or simply will not, understand. They will then turn the thought, idea, whatever it is, over and , and then push it back  on to the original source and give it a label. Often, it’s an incorrect label. It’s one of mankind’s biggest disgraces. What we don’t understand, we criticize, because it’s the only way we can make it fit into our pretty little box.

We like to call ourselves open-minded, but in reality, very few of us really are. I myself have even fallen into this trap of labeling something as “Odd” or “Weird” that I simply could not grasp.

We will use our own upbringing, our supposed morals, or society in general, as a way to validate that label. And in doing so, we create an even bigger mess of things.

In my case, it happens to be my relationship with my ex-husband. This statement could apply to numerous other things in life, but for the purpose of this blog, we will stick with the ex-husband.

Society and history, more often than not, has taught us that there is no plausible way that two people who once loved each other enough to get married, have children, go through life together, could ever decide to STOP doing that, and still remain cordial.

As a matter of fact, society seems more than pleased with itself when the two individuals battle it out for the whole world to see. Deny it if you must, but people love  drama.

If they don’t immediately see it, they have to then create it. For some reason, other people’s drama often makes us feel better about OUR lot in life, so we kind of need it in many ways.

In my case my ex-husband and I are not only cordial, we are actually still friends. What? That simply cannot BE!!! (Insert collective cyber gasp here!!!!)

Yes. I am afraid it’s true. We are best friends technically, and I still talk to him about 3-4 days per week. Now add to your already overwhelmed brain that my current boyfriend of three years is also  friends with my ex-husband.We hang out frequently together.

I will just give you a minute to process that…

Okay, done?

Here’s the deal. My ex and I were always friends. We built our marriage on that friendship and for the most part we had 13 GOOD years. Our marriage was based on respect and friendship. There was love, sex and all that other good stuff. We also had a slew of great moments and a only handful of bad moments. We couldn’t, despite our friendship and outside counseling navigate those bad moments; so three years ago we divorced.

Now everyone has weighed in on that over the years and that’s fine.

I have always held to the belief that no one, no matter how much you think  you know about another person, ever truly knows another person completely. The same goes for couples or any relationship in general. You can view pieces of it. Snap shots if you will. And sure, you can probably accurately judge what is and what is not a great relationship. But really, at the end of the day, what goes on between two people, behind the walls of their home, is really only between those two people. The real truth lies between those two parties.

It was never easy. Divorce rarely is. Make no mistake. We weren’t dancing around in party hats under a confetti shower, but it was the decision that was made at that time.

But here’s the thing…Divorcing someone does not erase the love in the heart, the memories, or the life you built together.  I never stopped loving him as the person he was. Intelligent. Funny. Easy to talk to. He was a good husband. He was and is a great guy. He simply was no longer my guy. And people don’t “get” that. And you know what? that is okay.

None of us here on earth will ever understand, or “Get” everything that goes on in the world.

In any break up, people want a bad guy. They need to place their anger and frustration on one of the parties. And so I suppose in this one, I got the brunt of it, since I was the final decision maker. And I have taken more than my fair share of the anger and hurt from our friends and family for sure but the reality is, sometimes there is no bad guy.

Sometimes what was; no matter how good, simply ceases to be. Our job, in any circumstance whether it be a marriage, a friendship, or even a career, is to recognize that it has passed its due date, and then go about making the changes that need to occur so that everyone gets to live their best life. No matter how hard or scary those changes can be.

We can never let fear of the unknown prevent us from action.

Sometimes there is nothing to get. Sometimes a situation just IS. We can analyze it to exhaustion if we want, but at some point you have to just say it is.

There is nothing more to get. This is a decision we made. All three of us. Adults, with previous relationships under our belt. And it is working; or us.

Our way may not be your way. And that’s okay. I don’t expect or really even need you to do it our way. But for me, there was no other way. Our relationship changed. It didn’t end. And at the end of the day, all three of us are better for it.

Our unique situation and friendship has made all of us better people.

You want to see what you are really made of? Spend a few hours in a room with your ex-husband. Guess what?? All those things that drove you nuts before, while you were married… Well,  they’re still there and guess what? Now you can’t say squat about it. You turned in your “Free Nagging” pass when you signed on the dotted line. Hah!

Learning to keep my mouth shut has been the greatest gift this friendship has given me. In addition to that I now have TWO great men in my life. One who loved me once. One who loves me now. We have risen above the criticism, the jealousies, and the naysayers. Because of that  we have better, more enriched, and more well-rounded lives.

It is my humble belief that if more people did what we are trying to do the world would be a much more peaceful place. Right?

We were married. We were divorced. We have remained friends. Because we were always friends. There is nothing else to get. When you are comfortable with yourself, when you like yourself and the people in your life, then it really becomes a simple choice.

We  can only analyze something for so long before we must accept that it just is. Life is too short to waste energy trying to sort it all out. It’s too short to live your life full of doubts. Regrets. And full of hate and anger.

We only get one shot at this thing called life. Why not walk the path surrounded by a great group of eclectic people? Why not go crazy and do the unexpected? Why not look society in the face and say screw you, it can be done, it is being done, and I will show you how.

Go out and live your best life friends. And don’t let anyone else define how that life should be. It’s your picture. Color it as you see fit!

Can We Understand Others Thoughts While Still Trying To Understand Our Own

The human mind has approximately 12,000 – 60, 000 thoughts a day depending on ones thinking level. Some thoughts are pure while some are not so pure. There are thoughts that are nonsense and not worth the time or energy of even thinking them. There are thoughts that bring joy, thoughts that bring pain, thoughts that bring laughter and thoughts that simply make us smile.

As people we struggle to understand those around us as well as their thought processes. We attempt to understand their lines of thinking,  just as we do our own. And sometimes, we may find ourselves being  judgmental of other people’s actions or decisions, and even more so  as we try to understand the notorious question “What were you/they thinking?”

How is it possible to understand others, when we are still trying to understand ourselves? We all have a dark side, or have all walked through dark days. Some may chose different forms of darkness, but we have all experienced the same emotions at some point through our journey. Granted, our situations may vary slightly or tremendously. However, we have all experienced loss, fear, abandonment, love, joy, pain, guilt, and shame. Unless of course, we are one of the select few in the world born with no conscience.

It would be best to say that the only person that knows a persons thought process and mindset, is that person. To try to believe otherwise, is naive. How many times have we found ourselves in situations where we overhear ourselves say out loud ” I would have never expected that out of him/her!” Truth is, perhaps they didn’t expect it out of them either.

It only takes a few bad thoughts for a few days in a row, out of 60,000 a day …. and there could be chaos.

We are all human. All born to make mistakes. Although the levels of mistake-hood may very, the lessons and consequences of our actions bring about the same emotions. To understand those around us, we must first understand ourselves.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.