This quote popped up on my FaceBook Newsfeed this morning and I had instantaneous resonance with it. I am interested in what your interpretation is or in what it stirs up for you. Let me share my stirrings! Stirring #1 - When I see people who are really sad, I want them to not be sad. Someone has a death in their family or is diagnosed with a terminal disease or loses their job and they are sad. I can get so caught up in wanting them to not be sad that I put all my effort into trying to get them to move on - breeze through this sad part - get to the place where life is better. That is not fair and it is not healthy! I do not have to jump into the sad space with them; actually, I cannot because even if I have had something similar happen, it's not the same. What I do need to do is recognize that they are in a sad space. I can name it "I see that you are really sad and this is really hard for you right now." Naming it is a great thing. I don't have to try and pull them out and tell them my story. I need to let them know that I see them and see how they are being. "I see you trying really hard to be strong. I see you reaching out and helping other people who are struggling with this too." I had a coach who taught me about acknowledgement and the power of that. It is really quite simple. "I see that you are a sad mom who is working really hard to be brave for your children." That is powerful! I see the person as they are and I let them know what I see.
Stirring #2 - I am a pusher and a driver. I love challenge. I want to live up to my potential. I think life is better that way. So, I push other people to want MORE! One of my greatest realizations in life came during my first marriage. I was married to someone who really was content with life as it was - job as it was - we, as we were. I, on the other hand, always wanted more for him. Because I like change, challenge, goals, and being driven to achieve, I thought he should want that. I somehow believed his life would be better, our marriage would be stronger, and he would be happier if he just pushed harder. WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was telling me with every fiber of his being who he was and I was ignoring it!
Stirring #3 - I'm pretty sure that people who know me would not describe me as being easily offended. It's quite difficult to hurt my feelings. I'm just not that sensitive. I'm not saying that it's good or bad; I'm simply owning the fact that I don't let what people say or think affect me very much. In many ways, life seems easier to me that way. When I see people I care about getting their feelings hurt, I continue to push on the fact that they don't have to be that way. "You really aren't that sensitive. You are choosing to let people hurt your feelings. Stop that - it doesn't do you any good." I want to believe that they are not really that sensitive and that what other people think or say doesn't really matter to them. Guess what? It actually does. And, the fact that it does actually makes them pretty kind, wonderful people. Because I see the angst it causes them, I continue to try and see them as someone that can change - that should want to change.
Moral of my stirrings - We really do need to meet people where they are at - wherever that is. We don't need to go and live there, but we must meet them there. It doesn't mean that we can't talk about what we see as possible, but it does mean that we realize they have choice. Their choice may not be our choice - that's okay. I have seen others want something for someone else more than the person wants it for themselves. I have BEEN that person. STOP! We can convince ourselves that if I want this badly enough for you that you will want it too. We can believe that if I see you in a certain way and tell you enough times that you will believe it. I'm not saying that we give up on sharing new ideas or possibilities or nudging others; I'm saying that we need to try and see someone from how they see themselves. We need to try on their perspective, and then we could ask them to try on ours. Ultimately, each of us gets to decide which perspective we want to wear!
WHAT DOES THIS STIR UP FOR YOU?