I recently read a blog post and it hit home. You can read it here and really, you should read it. It made me think about the assumptions I make about other people and the ones they make about me.
What signs am I missing about things going on in their lives? What are the things I'm misunderstanding or taking offense about that I should be over looking because deep inside they are struggling? Wouldn't it be great if we could all be honest and walk around with signs around our necks that explain our worries and thoughts? Signs that could just lay it all out there, "hey, I'm struggling - please handle me with care."
As we switch over to 2011 we are all faced with the opportunity to change and improve. That's what my goal continues to be. I'm trying to be more honest with myself about realities, life in general, family expectations, and - here's the big one - my faults. I most certainly wish sometimes I could do just as Melody said in her blog post and wear a sign, it would explain so much about me to the people I interact with.
For weeks prior to Christmas I was really struggling but tried hard to hide it. Then, to add insult to injury, I had a severe blow from someone who made assumptions about things they knew nothing about. It hurt. Judgments were passed and mean comments were made about my family when we were trying to do our best to help those we love.
Now, I must say, I fully admit I'm not perfect. The assumptions made in this instance were wrong and out of line but all I can do is find the best way possible to move on and get over it. Especially since I've also done things that have been misunderstood and have hurt people in the past too. Perhaps the comments were made because of stress in their life. I will never know, all I can do is learn from it, forgive, and move on.
My point in sharing this is maybe it would have helped if we all wore signs explaining our inner thoughts and worries. Perhaps knowing someone is struggling deeply would mean we'd be kinder to each other. Perhaps we'd go to the source for an explanation. Perhaps we wouldn't back-stab or make harsh digs just so we look better than someone else. Perhaps we wouldn't assume the worse and instead we'd give the benefit of the doubt.
If I could have let go of my pride and have been honest, here are a few of the signs I would have worn the last six weeks...
"My parents are discussing their estate and I'm struggling with the fact that they are nearing the end of their life"
"I had to explain to my kids that the Grandma they adore, my mother in-law, has cancer, we aren't doing well with this news."
"I'm losing hours at work and am struggling with direction, what to do, and who to be."
"We aren't having family drama like you think, we just had two deaths over Christmas and my family is hurting and because they are hurting, I'm hurting"
"I'm trying to have a heart like His but often fall short, be patient with me - I'm trying."
"My best friend, who I hardly ever see, just had a stroke and now she has breast cancer and there is nothing I can do about it which makes me angry and sad"
Maybe wearing these signs would have helped. And, I wonder, what signs would others have worn that would have helped me better understand and help them?
Bottom line, as 2011 starts, I think it's a good opportunity to try to make less assumptions and be kinder.
We don't wear signs daily that spell everything out and most of us try to cover up the worries, sadness and everyday struggles. We have look deeper and see with our hearts instead of our minds. We need to work on not taking offense, especially where no offense was intended.
I know I will be working on these things. The world could use more kindness, less judgments and harsh digs. I will be open to the idea that what works for me, doesn't always work for someone else and I will look for those unsaid messages, signs, so I can have better understanding and more love for those around me.
Seriously, if you'd like to understand what I'm trying to say go here: A really great story everybody should read! It's very well written and explains the message so much better than I can.
Ok, that's all.... soon it's back to happy crafting! Snowmen are on their way....
Love and happiness to all!