In between incredible busyness since I returned home from my holiday in the Hunter Valley, and spending time doing some People-Watching I have somehow found time to mull over general relationship issues. I thought as I got older, relationships would get easier but do you know what, they never do!
What factors heavily in YOUR life when it comes to handling relationships? Do you always want to be right? Do you refuse to even look at the other person’s point of view because being right is more important than finding the truth? Do you want to know your failings so you can change? This is a very interesting topic and one I have been pondering for a couple of weeks now.
It began some weeks ago, when I was at a meeting at our Church with my Liturgy Group. The meeting was about to end when our new Filipino priest said he had something to say. We all waited with bated breath as he began. Father is very theatrical in his manner and he did not disappoint on this occasion.
What he said was (as he used his hands to articulate) if any of us had anything we needed to tell him about the way he was handling the Liturgy Group or any other general things in the parish, he wanted us to approach him and tell him. The reason why he wanted this he added almost as an aside, but it was this very thing that really spoke to me. He said:
“I want this, because I want to GROW. If I do not know these things about myself, I will not grow, and I am committed – on a personal level – to growing.”
When Father concluded this little aside, all of us sat there in silence. There was no need to say anything at all. Father had put himself ‘out there” and made himself very vulnerable with this statement. No one made a single comment. Not after the meeting or even since. But, what he said has remained with me ever since.
I had previously been mulling on the fact that I can think too much about situations that happen in my life. This can lead to sensitivity … which then leads to feeling not so good. Well, dear friends, I don’t particularly like to feel bad so I was inspired by Father’s statement, that if I made a commitment to grow and to learn from situations where I may not have handled things well, my life would be far more peaceful.
Well, it may ‘hurt’ to grow (or to admit you are wrong) but in fact, you get the pain over with immediately and are able to get on with your life. So, I have incorporated this new adage in my life and I am finding it very helpful. I like the fact that when I am confronted by a situation, I say to myself: “How can I grow and be a better person from this situation?” instead of thinking “Oh no, not more trouble!” I am learning to confront it head on … immediately.
You might say: “But what if it hurts me?” Well, if it hurts, it hurts! At least I am not thinking about it continuously and THEN getting upset down the track. Do you know, I really believe it took courage for our priest to make the statement that he made that night. His ability to be vulnerable and open to criticism was one of the most courageous things I think I have ever witnessed.
Why is it so important for us to keep on growing as a person you might ask? It is far easier to stay in old habits and not change, that’s for sure, but will we be happier for doing this? I do not believe we will be. We have to be willing to try … and to EXAMINE ourselves … as this next piece suggests (and for the word ‘leader’ use ‘people/person’):
“The best leaders are continually learning. They see all experiences as learning experiences. But there is a catch. Unexamined experiences don’t produce the rich insights that come from reflection and analysis. If you want to become a better leader, you need to study your own performance and become more conscious about the choices that you are making and how you are acting on your intentions.” blog.discoveryeducation.com/being-a-leader-means-being-willing-to-continually-grow-and-develop
So dear friends, I want to encourage you to be willing to grow, develop and change; become a better person. Sometimes this involves having a new perspective on a relationship; sometimes it involves changing a behaviour that isn’t working for you; sometimes it means apologising to someone when it is hard to do so.
Perhaps it means treating someone better than you presently do. Perhaps it means you may make a mistake that you need to rectify. I know I am in the midst of doing my best to address these issues. Is it easy to do? No way! But, do you know what? It sure feels good to be trying … a bit like exercising the body only this involves exercising the will and the mind.
It takes COURAGE to begin my friends … that’s what it takes. And we all need to be willing not to be afraid to make mistakes either. Here is some wonderful advice that I found today:
You need the courage to be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. All peak performers continually make decisions, make mistakes, learn from them, self-correct, and carry on.
Successful people are not those who necessarily make the right decisions all the time, but they make their decisions right. If they make a mistake, they accept it, learn as much as possible from it, failing and making mistakes. The more you fail and the more mistakes you make, the smarter you become and the more likely it is that you will eventually achieve your goals.
Find more inspiration here: www.briantracy.com/blog/general/building-the-courage-to-break-out-of-your-comfort-zone/
Building good relationships is never easy but we can learn and grow as we go along regardless of any mistakes we may make along the way. Just ask me! I am fond of saying: I am not perfect but I am willing to apologise if I need to and learn from where I went wrong.
Oh what an interesting life one leads …