Would you avoid negative situations if you could? What if you could predict, and therefore circumvent problems?
Through many life experiences, I’ve discovered I don’t have to go through as many trying times as I have in the past.
The secret lies in acknowledgement and resolution. Let me tell you a short story as an example.
My son was about four months old. One of those perfect ages, filled with giggles, snuggles, and sweet baby smells. My infant happily slurped his bottle, tugged on strands of my hair, while I smoothed his curls across the top of his head.
Across the table, my two year old nephew sat in his high chair. His mommy followed his clamped lips with a spoon of food, as he shook his head back and forth. He began to squall, while she cooed and coaxed in efforts to gain his cooperation.
And then in my naive and superior state, I spoke those ill-fated words to myself. My child will never behave like that.
I paid for that attitude, and so did my son.
Shortly after he was introduced to solid foods, the problems began. No matter how much I coaxed, begged, or eventually punished, my son ate like a bird. I believe my arrogance directly affected his passive-aggressive behaviors.
But this wasn’t the only time my feeling of superiority caused me to experience negative circumstances.
Sadly, my opinion on people dealing with depression was, they need to snap out of it. Just pull themselves up by the bootstraps.
Then clinical depression swamped me with its black, sticky, smothering fog.
Anxiety issues, financial difficulties, relationship fractures, work conflicts, and identity questions are other areas where my views lacked experience to back them up. And God graciously allowed me to walk in the shoes of others, so I could learn lessons of compassion and humility.
- These days, I avoid the word never.
- When I catch myself forming an opinion on something another is going through, I try to stop, and truly imagine how hard it might be for them.
- I remember my own past, when I reacted much differently than I would have ever thought possible.
- I work hard to listen twice as much as I speak.
- Looking at my grown son, he symbolizes how little I know about what I don’t know.
What have you said never to, and lived to regret?
1 Corinthians 13:9 (NIV1984)
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Specialist, Certified Team Training Facilitator, Marketing Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.
She’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research.