So often whether in thought and or deed we set out on a mission to ‘fix people’ according to how we need them to be instead of accepting them as they are. We approach our relationships at times as we would if we were assembling our favorite items from a ‘create your own’ combo. Willingly we accept the parts of a person’s personality that doesn’t stretch our understanding and complain, murmur, reject, outwardly display our disapproval of the things we decide need to be fixed.
I am guilty as charged.
As we get down and dirty in identifying the things that work that last nerve or at the least make us uncomfortable, a couple of signs get missed along the way. Have you ever wondered why something about someone bothers you that much? After carefully evaluating your own behavior do you see any similarities between that person’s behavior and yours? While on the self-appointed seat of judgment what opportunities of personal growth are being missed?
I find myself in a tizzy from time to time with a friend of mine who doesn’t act or respond how I would like them to at times. I have not been able to nail down exactly why it seems that they are anointed to push “that” button as I blow my cover on my usually calm and patient demeanor. I hear myself lose patience with them while they are actually just being their own unique self and asking that I be mine. I find myself completely frustrated when they don’t make any changes to their behavior in accordance to my preferences, and can remember hearing myself give them the break down on how what they do makes me feel and why it needs to stop. Issue with the need to be in control raising its ugly head, perhaps? One thing they have never asked that I do is change any part of who I am, and when I needed them most, ie. when I have been at my worst, they take it all in extend a hand and walk with me through my darkest hours. Their acceptance and unconditional support has managed to stay above my fussing and fuming on my list of what “I don’t like”. Humbly, I started to take notice that as different as we are, there is great value in who we both are, as we are, on the road to our best self’s. I’m no better, nor are they. We just are. I once heard a story from Stormie Omartian, and though this was related to her relationship with her husband I thought it applicable to human relationships in general. She tells the story of a time when she would always ask God to change certain aspects of her husband’s personality make-up, and one day in her frustration when nothing had changed, she turned to God and ask Him to “Fix Me”. Now I also begin my day asking for more patience with myself, acceptance of others and acceptance of the fact that we are imperfect beings on this great experience.
By focusing on the things we may not like about a person and their personality make-up, we assign ourselves as the creator to mold someone into who and how we want them to be. Imprisoning our friends, our family or our loved ones creates a lonely and artificial world where others act how they think we want them to be, as opposed to who they are. Those in your world, as they are, are who you need them to be. Welcome them, and speak life into who they are. Identify their strengths and gifts. When confronted with the things that strike that last nerve, ask yourself why does it get under your skin so much-what is it there to teach you, and then listen for the answer. You need them far more than you think you do.
Free your thoughts from judgment and watch as your world around you and in you gives you full permission to be who you truly are as well.