The other day I heard a phrase that caught my attention. It said, “the only way to be happy is to be thankful.” I found that to be poignant because I continuously struggle at to see positive things rather than negative things. Moreover, the actions of others have more power over my emotions then sometimes I’m willing to admit.
The people around me tell me that this is the common denomination of women everywhere. I don’t know if that’s true, but what I do know is that most women that I know are mom’s, wives, and colleagues. And what that says to me is that their lives are full. With an abundant life comes the responsibility of introspection. You cannot have a husband or children and not learn valuable experience based on both pain and joy along your way. It’s been said that to be my age is to graduate from the “University of Life.” However, rules and application always are subject to approval or acceptance.
This past week I have been introspective. I’ve seen the attitudes of my children and my frustration levels with their choices begin to build in a very negative way. Whenever this happens to me, I sit down and think about what I can do to fix it, because ultimately I am the peacemaker. I try and ask myself if the offenses that I feel are due to my own interpretation or are they actual offending actions because in my past when I have confronted someone I have been so wrong. Experience has taught me to pause.
The problem is that just when I think that I am clear on what the issues are and clear on exactly what injustice trigger has just been pushed; it’s then when I decide to talk to whomever it is who has offended me. Usually my gut instincts are right on track. But this week they weren’t.
What I forgot to do is to take into consideration all the factors involved. I don’t have a mind that deduces a problem based on facts. I have a creative mind that is based on emotion and by human interaction. It’s the old saying, “feeling versus thinking.” I am the feeler and for the most part the people who I love who are closest to me and my life are the thinkers. So much so that the concrete approach to a problem can be quite disarming. What this does is cause massive miscommunication for all parties involved.
It takes a great sense of intellectual responsibility to look at oneself and realize that the problem lies within. In life, when we look at our own actions or we look at the offense that we feel; we not only need to remind ourselves to really look at whether or not this is our interpretation, but we really need to understand that person has their own set of injustice buttons as well. You would think that at my age not only would I comprehend this beyond a reasonable sense, but that upon need of it I could certainly reference at a moment’s notice. This past week that was certainly not the case. Admitting that could be the first foundation of solidifying a better approach upon the next surge of teen attitude.
This past week I was wrong. I was incorrect about the motivation behind the attitude. I withdrew my affections instead of engaging. It took me a long time to process through my own thinking because it’s not a natural thing for me to do. I have to remember that while I’m pressing my pause button, the people that depend on me will view my absence as abandonment. It’s certainly not! I need to understand how my reaction to their behavior can sometimes cause more of a disturbance in our communication rather than healing the hurt feelings.
Life is about change, and nothing ever stays the same. I think there’s a song about that? I believe the key to a successful relationship is to communicate whether that language is defective or whether it is productive. You cannot fix a problem or a broken dialogue without first starting to talk. If my approach is with love the outcome should be in a relationship that all those prior behaviors count when matters like this come up. I feel that if we can remind ourselves that we are loved and respected, we can remind ourselves to love and respect the people who have feelings of regret or pain. We can move on to a better dialogue. Ultimately we can solve the problem.
Everyone knows what right and wrong is. The power doesn’t rest in the inability to find the truth. Our success will be based on whether or not we can do the right thing despite our impulsive feelings and negative emotions.
I’m learning to be thankful for the blessings in my life. That attitude is teaching me that the joy I desperately seek is in direct correlation to my perception. It’s certainly not easy and takes a great deal of focus on my part but it’s certainly doable…
I’d really like to know what you think. How do you handle situations where you either are the person who is confronted or you are the confronting person? How do you get through the miscommunication to effective rich dialogue for the betterment of both parties? If you’re so inclined, I would love to know?