Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Accept People From Where They Are

I had drinks with my friend, Brooke, on Friday. I was telling her about a recent challenge in my love life. She listened patiently and with only a few moments of explanation she was able to make me see that the challenge I was facing had nothing to do with me and had everything to do with the guy. It's his past relationships that are effecting his current behavior. I was presenting him with a similar situation that he's faced in the past and that past situation didn't go well for him. Subconsciously, he's put me in that same category as his last girlfriend because of the circumstances, even though our personalities are completely different. 

This got me thinking about some challenges in other parts of my life and I realized a pattern. I have been losing a lot of sleep wondering what I can personally do to overcome these challenges. My conversation with Brooke showed me that sometimes all we can do to resolve a situation is nothing. We have to step back and take people from where they are, not from where we are or where we'd like them to be. The longer we live, the longer we're likely to face some kind of trauma and discomfort. And those things alter us, and they alter the way we look at new situations. The old carries forward, no matter how much we profess to turning over a new leaf. We can change a lot of things, but we can't go back and change our experience. That is frozen in time. 

This simple insight gave me a lot of comfort. Anxiety builds up when we feel that we should be or could be doing something to improve our lot, and for one reason or another we don't act. Knowing that in some instances there isn't anything we can do to improve a situation because the situation is entirely out of our control brings a sense of calm and peace. And it's through providing that peace to someone else that may just help them resolve the challenge on their own, allowing us all to move forward.  

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