Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Won't Expect You To Be What I Want You To Be

Some of life’s lessons have taken me quite a while to learn.  Abstract concepts, complex theories, intricate hypotheses?  I typically have no trouble understanding these.  The most practical knowledge often eludes me, though.  But when I do catch on, I can observe my surroundings with beautiful, crystal-clear vision.

This year (with many birthdays behind me), I was able to put in place for myself, something that I have been touting to others for years.

  • You can’t really change anyone.  You can influence them, but change has to come from within
  • Which ties to somthing much more important:  Appreciate people for who they are.  Others are not here on this planet for your convenience.  (That frame of mind is not only unreal, it’s down-right inconsiderate.)
These realizations did not come like a bolt out of the blue to me this year.  I would imagine that this kind of awareness for other people, as it was for me, comes over a period of time.

This year, a lot of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.  Maybe the planets were aligned. Maybe Mercury was advancing, instead of retrograding.  Doubtful.  I believe that it's just that I opened my ears and listened to the wisdom being shared with me by those who care for me.  Maybe I opened my mind to the reality of common life experiences.  Maybe I was able to open my heart and understand that while people were going easy on me, helping me to understand the world around me, looking out for my best interests, I was able to go easy on myself.

Among those who taught me were:

  • A good friend at work, who always tells me, "Oh...that's just [insert name here]" or “You have to let [insert name here] be [insert same name here].”
  • My husband, who always accepts me just the way I am.  The luxury of this treatment is golden to me, especially when I see other couples who constantly have trouble understanding and accepting one another.
  • My son, who points out to me when I’m being impatient with or not understanding other people.  He has a practical, yet exceptional, way of taking each person that he encounters exactly as he or she is. 
So I’m still learning:

·        From my friend, to be accepting of others.
·        From my husband, to love unconditionally
·        From my son, to love humanity in general

And in the spirit of an Oscar-winner’s acceptance speech. “Thanks to anyone who also helped me who I didn’t mention. You know who you are.”

I don't think that I would be too far off base if I believed that each of us during some point in life felt that they had to satisfy expectations of others.  I could cite numerous instances in my own life.

We are most comfortable around those people who accept us, who understand us; those who we can be ourselves around.  So, let's all go easy on ourselves and each other.  How about it?

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