I’m one to give people (and myself) the benefit of the doubt.
I’m quick to say, “Oh, that’s just the way he is/she is/I am wired.”
I tend to believe that we are victims/products of our histories, environments and circumstances.
The love I have for people and the dislike I have for confrontation often overrides my need to bring up anything I find bothersome about someone.
BUT. I also get hung up on the idea of potential. Not what someone should be, but what they can be. I have this nagging desire to make people see this potential they possess (and to live up to my own, obviously). It’s horribly annoying because acting on that desire potentially becomes overbearing or offensive. Reaching potential requires changing. People don’t always like change. People don’t always believe they can or should change. I will be the first to admit, I am one of those people.
I re-read Viktor Frankl’s ‘A Man’s Search for Meaning’ recently and it was very convicting for me in regards to this topic. Here are some excerpts:
“For what matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement. When we can no longer change our situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
“Man does not simply exist, but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.”
“In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”
“A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the ‘why’ for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any ‘how’.”
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
I’ve probably written this 50 times already, but this year has been the most emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually exhausting year of my life. I can appear cool as a cucumber, but you guys: I’m mostly a mess. Yesterday I stayed in my pajamas all day. I ate ice cream and M&M’s for lunch. I didn’t really want to see or talk to anyone, so I didn’t leave my dorm. I sat in my bed and stared at the wall. It’s tempting to do this every day when you’re sad, but I can’t. I know I’m better than that. From an internal standpoint, I have been operating below my potential. I have wanted to shake off ‘suffering’ rather than choose into letting it transform me. I’m an extremely reflective person but I detest turning my attention inward. I hate focusing on myself. Hate, hate, hate, hate it. I understand that I am wired this way, but if I simply accept it and allow that to dictate my response to life, that won’t foster growth or freedom. Its hard to truly believe I have the authority to choose/change my response in hopeless situations that are out of my control.
I’m working hard on this one wee thing (‘wee’ is my favorite new adjective to use. Also, ‘dodgy’). I am committed to notice when I’m doing it, admit what I fear, and let it go again and again and again. It kills me when I see people who want to change something, who have all the resources and capabilities to do so, and they choose out. I know that if I want my relationships, career, and self to become something beautiful I have to be willing to stop the distractions. Pray. Listen for inner Tay. Ask questions. Mess up. Put some elbow grease into the process. And when I do everything I possibly can and it doesn’t work, will I keep fighting? When the advice, tactics, and tips make me feel like a failure, will I keep showing up? Am I willing to listen to myself, to find my own way, even when the way other’s have traveled isn’t working? Am I brave enough to create my own roadmap?
Game face on.