“Greatness of mind is not dependent upon one’s title, class or stature, but rather one’s ability to extend grace, love and compassion to another in the midst of adversity.” ~ Rosalynd M. Rambert
Today, I find myself challenged as I contemplate the state of several personal relationships. The more aware I become, and the more committed I become to “becoming the change I want to see in the world,” the phrase “relationships take work,” have taken on a completely new meaning.
As I navigate the complex waters of relationships, I have come to realize that many people don’t have a consciousness of what it takes to nurture, maintain and manage a healthy relationship. Personally, I believe two of the main challenges we face is our “definition” and “expectations” of the relationship. How have you “defined” the relationship you are in? Does the person hold the same definition? What are your expectations for the relationship and the individual? What have you committed to contributing to the relationship? Are you proactively nurturing and managing the relationship in a healthy way? Does the person place the same value on the relationship that you do?
Many of us suffer needlessly in relationships because our expectations of what that relationship can offer and produce are unrealistic. To be fair, sometimes it’s hard to ascertain just how realistic our expectations are until the relationship hits a bump in the road–often disguised as conflict. In most instances, I don’t believe you really know what’s in a person or what they are capable of until adversity strikes. Specifically, what do I mean? Well, here’s a list of a few things to consider, some of which might be up close and personal for you.
How do you react and manage the person, when…
- they hold a differing opinion and/or perspective about something you believe in strongly?
- their belief system prevents them from being open to your way of thinking?
- they said something to hurt your feelings or assassinate your character?
- you feel that their comments toward you were dismissive and devaluing?
- they don’t place the same value on the relationship that you do?
- they have caused you great pain in areas where you had to trust God for healing?
- you feel they have completely misunderstood and ignored you in your greatest hour of need?
- they cut you off, for reasons that are unknown to you?
Be honest! How do you really feel about this? How does it affect you? What crazy thoughts and ideas run through your mind?
Well, since I’m being transparent. I’ll be really honest. Sometimes it really hurts. Sometimes it leaves me feeling as if there is something wrong with me. Sometimes I say to myself, “Why should I continue to be so loving and helpful when most people don’t care.” In this moment, it’s important to note that this is your ego talking. The ego is easily offended–this is another subject entirely, which we’ll discuss at another time. The ego wants to be loved; it wants to be comforted; it wants to be validated; it wants to feel important; IT WANTS TO BE RIGHT! We can stay on this latter point for days…you know what I mean .
As a human being, these feelings and tendencies are natural. However, we must remember that we are spirit beings having a human experience; and we can tap into our higher self at any moment. As spirit beings, we have the ability to transcend to a state of consciousness and intelligence that allows us to view the situation from other realm.
On my journey of aspiring to greatness, I have and am still learning:
- to give up the right to understand why people do what they do
- to accept them for who they are and where they are
- to be grateful for the experience and ask myself, “What am I to learn from this situation?”
- to appreciate the experience; discover and embrace the lesson
- to hold no malice and forgive quickly
- to wish the individual well and pray for them
- that most times it’s not about right or wrong, but perspective
- because of our experiences and belief systems, we process and filter information differently
- we all have blind spots; no one sees everything
- to extend grace, love and compassion in the most challenging situations
More importantly, I am learning to take responsibility for everything I experience in my relationships. After all, either I invited the person in my life and/or I taught them in some way how to treat me. Now, this statement may be hard to swallow, but one worth digesting and pondering.
“When people show you who they really are, believe them?” With this realization comes responsibility. You now have to change your expectations and manage the relationship accordingly. I must share one caveat to this quote. Just as you are in your season of change and growth, so is this individual. Hence, be careful about closing doors. We are all guilty of having shown up as “not our best self.” Just as people extended us grace, so we must do the same. So, we must learn to accept and manage people based on where they are and not be so quick to throw people away.
As I ASPIRE TO GREATNESS, I am learning that “becoming the change you want to see in this world” is not easy. But, I believe it can be done and I believe it’s necessary for so many reasons. At the end of the day, we are all a work in progress. No one ever arrives; for it takes daily commitment and the power of intention to reprogram our subconscious mind and create new belief systems that will ensure success in every area of our lives. I continue to pray that we will LIVE…DO…BE on a higher level; beginning with me.
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ASPIRE TO GREATNESS MY FRIENDS!