Jan 1, 2011

a new year and a much needed message

Please forgive me for a minute while I get a little deep.  I normally don't share personal things on this blog.  I keep it crafty and happy so this post is out of character for me.  However, after struggling my way through the holidays and even barely holding on prior to that, I want to share.  Maybe someone else is struggling, too.

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!


Maisy said...

Amy, thank you for the heartfelt post. I wish more people (myself included) could think this way, and act or react with compassion and kindness, regardless of what we THINK we know to be true!! One thing I've found that helps in my own life, when I feel offended or angry about what someone else has done or said "to me" (or so I think), is that if I take my EGO out of it -- simply take myself and my own feelings out of the equation... things seem much less awful. As Dr. Wayne Dyer says EGO means "edging God out". I wish you peace and happiness in the New Year!

Cindy said...

Amy..I will be lifting you up in prayer..and you explained it beautifully!!

I am so sorry for your hurting..you are right..there are so many walking wounded..and we as Christians..tend to just nod and move on..instead of listening to Jesus telling us to stop and talk.

We are struggling with finances..a year ago we let all 22 of our workers go..it is day to day around here..yet during the holiday season..when spending is the norm..I wasn't spending nor even sighseeing..lol
And then God said get out and make a difference. I left the house..and just walked around in Wal mart..there I saw elderly people needing help with decisions in the toy isle...just a sweet smile to others..and receiving one back..lifted my spirits. Telling the greeter..what a great job she was doing..and chatting a few seconds..seemed to have made her day..she said.
People just responding kindly..sweetly..and courtiously...seemed to lift my ..whoa is me spirit.
I know smiles won't take the pain away from loosing a love one...but make a mental memory book of the joyous times with them..show your little ones..death is okay...It is part of the circle that God has given us..and the memories will help the little ones also.
Again I will keep you in my prayers I do love your crafting skills.

Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Amy, for the beautiful things you've said. Just knowing that you are "over the mountains" means so much to me. Your love, kindness and gentle spirit fly over those mountains all the time, and make my heart happy and the burdens lighter. It's been a rough Christmas season, and the new year may be rough as well. Continue to be yourself, I think it's a beautiful self. Love you.

ellen said...

Thanks for opening your heart and sharing. You and your family are always in our thoughts- even if I don't tell you often! You have also motivated me to write notes to others in my life who need cheering up, a pat on the back, and a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes I forget to share the feelings I have inside. Thanks.

Jessica (Hey Lola) said...

This was a beautiful post - thank you so much for sharing and reminding me to be a little more compassionate in my day to day life. We never really know what's going on with everyone around us, and it doesn't hurt to handle people with care - the same way we would want everyone to handle us in times of trouble.

Angel said...

You are so right. We rarely think about what others may be going through.