Life Lesson 2...

This post got me thinking, and there is another whole post a-coming (truthfully, it has been coming for a while; but has been stuck in translation between my head and the keyboard)!

So - Life Lesson Two:

There Are Always Two Sides Of The Story!

Perception is personal; what one person says, someone else hears differently (I learnt this first hand very recently - however, that is not my story to tell; but suffice to say it was quite an eye-opening experience!)... What one person remembers, another has no memory of at all (or just plain different). I am shocking for remembering stories/memories wrong; I don't know why - I remember numbers and names well, but stories/memories I always muddle up in my mind. So quite often if I go to share a memory with someone, they'll be quite taken aback - as what I am saying does not match with what they remember. Or I'll quite innocently refer back to a previous conversation with someone, and more often than not the response is 'that is not what I said...'. I am not trying to lie, or to cause trouble, or do anything to hurt people - it's just my perception is a little 'wonky' in this area. It is only something I became aware of recently, when hubby got exasperated; once we talked it out I realised I can remember times like that all my life. I have not really gone into this deeply; but I am wondering if it only happens for 'negative' experiences, as my brain tries to rewire them for me...

You know that grumpy cashier you dealt with recently; what you didn't know is that she has a sick child that she was up with all night...

That grumpy neighbour; maybe they've lost a loved one recently, and have been struggling with this.

The friend who didn't respond to your call; could be depressed and just can't face people at the moment.

That family member who hasn't bothered to make contact lately; maybe the financial stress is becoming larger than life.

Whatever the situation - there are always two sides of the story. Admittedly, the 'other side' may not be as above; it might just be a grump dealing with you at the Supermarket, for no other reason than not wanting to be there. 

However, until we have made an effort, an attempt, to look at things from the other perspective - we can't really jump on board the Judgement Train. 

I am not stupid however, and have lived enough 'real life', to know that there are times when you have been SO badly hurt, that you can't see things from the other perspective. I am not talking about times like this; those times require you to take a break and look after yourself first, and maybe down the track you can find some sort of peace with the situation.

I am talking about the day-to-day gritty life situations... the times when something small and seemingly innocent, can become mountains in our minds, because of where we are at. Like the above examples - grumpy cashiers, and silent friends or family. They are not necessarily trying to hurt you; remember there are always two sides... they may be struggling through something themselves, or sometimes it may have just been a case of getting busy and forgetting (ahem - guilty of this myself), any number of things could have caused the outburst, or the silence. This is when we need to give the benefit of the doubt - this is when we need to be the bigger people, and try again; making the (first) contact. Or in terms of grumpy strangers - this is when we need to smile pleasantly, and say something 'nice'; not respond like with like.

I have a habit of making mountains out of molehills in my mind - I hold onto something, more often than not it wasn't even meant to be negative, and build it up until I get all resentful and angry. The other person doesn't even know I am mad at them, let alone why - and walks right into the middle of an ice field the next time they see me. Everything they then say or do, is judged and held up against the 'wrong' I perceived initially, and the mountain gets bigger and bigger. I know I am not the only one who does this; but I know the trouble it can cause, and the pain it bestows on other people. I am very thankful for my hubby - he knows me well, and these days as soon as he see's this happening, he challenges me. I used to hate him doing this - believing that as my husband, he should automatically 'be on my side' and see it from my point of view. But because of his persistence, I am not as bad these days as I used to be, praise God; it's really not a nice existence. I am slowly learning to let things go quicker and easier (or try to look at it from a different perspective)... I suspect it will be a life-long lesson, and it is one I need to keep relearning; but it is worth it! But don't read this wrong - if it is a genuinely hurtful situation, he is 100% on my side and the first one to defend me!

But one of the other things I have/am learning - is when we're the one who has done the hurting; we need to be the one to do the sorting as well. Sometimes, it does take time, as both parties are hurt; but it is worth it. The other party may not respond, they may not be ready yet; but as long as you have done your bit to 'live in peace', then you can start to move on, knowing that their response is now their problem.

Because that is really all we can do... sometimes it takes more than an apology and time to repair it; because just like it takes two to argue, it also takes two to sort it out. You may be the one who needs to take the first step, but you can't control the other person or their response. All you can do is your bit to make sure you keep the peace in as much as is possible:

And sometimes 'keeping the peace' may just mean not associating with them any more; making sure you don't hold grudges, but not putting yourself in harms way either. Letting go and moving on... 

I have had to do that in different ways and in different situations; it is just part of being human unfortunately. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it is just not possible to get on with everyone, or to reconcile all past hurts. It is then down to how you deal with it - in peace, or in anger; as by this stage it is only you it affects, not them. Breathe deeply, cry when you need to, then slowly let it go - knowing you are doing what is best for you.

So stay strong friends, and live in peace in as much as you can!


Oh yes, the working out of relationships, perceptions and mis- perceptions, they all make us strong and test our faith and personalities. They are used to mould us to the end vision the Lord has for us.
Hang in there, and your DH is the best you could have had, in that he is willing to challenge you and encourage you to take another look at what is happening around you.
Love and blessings
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