A week or two ago a friend approached me asking me to identify three blind spots in her. It was part of an exercise done in her leadership group. I shared a few things that she could work on and asked her to do the same for me. One of the things that she pointed out was that when something happened differently to what I was expecting, I get frustrated and try to fix it, instead of gaining perspective.
It felt like a bucket of ice cold water poured over my head. I knew, from a previous situation with a friend, that I try to provide solutions when I am presented a problem. I just didn’t think that I was that aggressive. I like to get over things and move on. Some people in my life like to dwell on things for a while before taking a step. I personally cannot do that. It is a self-defense mechanism to mourn for some while and get on to the next thing. If I continue dwelling on an issue, I will just go into a downward spiral.
Because this works for me, I want to help others apply this process to their lives. Going even further, I want them to confront their issues and take the place that belongs to them, and in a respectful and polite way, demand to be respected and treated politely. I want them to live their best lives and put the work needed for it. I believe that they have it in them to change their lifestyle for the betterment of their financial future and their overall personal health. My help comes from a desire for all the best for others. But my way is not the highway.
Something else that adds to it is that there are also different ways others do things than what I have grown up with. We might believe that we are open-minded and tolerant, but not really. You want to learn how stuck you are in your ways? Get married and you’ll see immediately how narrow your perspective truly is. Your partner and your in-laws will definitely give you an education about seeing things differently. The thing is, that just because they do things in a different manner, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong. Many, many things in this world are not black and white. Some things are just different, and that is alright. This is easier said than done. A quick way to swallow this pill is to recognize your place in the world. You are not the world’s manager or in charge of fixing it. If your opinion is not taken highly, the world will not collapse. You are important and do count, but you are not the last Coke in the desert, and cold (a saying from home used to bring you down to real life). Why do people have to follow my advice? Why does my point of view need to take the throne? This just leads me to understand that my opinion is not as important as I believe. Dave Ramsey says that his advice is worth what you pay for it, and since I don’t charge, there you go.
All of the above has come after processing my need to be listened in a relationship. I can try and stay quiet, but it doesn’t take me to where I want to be in people’s lives. My biggest struggle is staying involved without being involved. I just don’t know how to be close to people and not have a suggestion. I don’t want to be a bystander or just someone to hangout with. I like to have friends, not acquaintances. Yet I also know that I need to be respectful of others.
I appreciate boundaries and will respect them. How will I get there from my current point of view? I think that I will just offer my advice to those who might want it, and like love, give it without strings attached. It is a painful process for me but it is worth it. It is important to value people just as they are, respect their lives, and unburden myself from a job nobody gave me. I am still passionate to empower people to grow, and will still be available to those who want my support.