Recently, I have been thinking about what is really going on behind the scenes in people's lives. We never really know what's going on in their heads and their hearts. When I saw this video by Martina McBride it made me think of this concept a little bit, but I love the message so much I just had to share. Please press play and take four minutes to watch it.
As I share life with people who go through bad times, as I learn more about the troubled past of a close friend, as I read memoirs and personal blogs, I learn that every one of us has trouble. Every one of us has dreams. Every one of us has buried talents. Remembering these truths helps suppress my desire to judge or to second guess someone, since it reminds me that I don't ever have the whole story. I don't know why a person reacts in the way that she does. I don't know what her motivations are. I don't know when something I might say or do could spark a flood of bad memories for someone, or a spark of jealousy over a path not taken. I don't know, and so I shouldn't judge a person on the way that I think that she should react.
A puffed-up, prideful exterior or an "it's-all-about-me" mentality is often a cover for deep insecurity. I've seen this, and it's helped me to give those who display that bravado a measure of grace, to remember that I, too, have had moments when I have hogged the spotlight. When I see this display, I try to figure out who they really are and where they are really coming from and to encourage them that their natural self is okay with me.
The friend who goes on and on about her raise, might really be insecure about her salary or job security or worth.
The friend who criticizes your husband might be worried that she will never find one.
The friend who is always smiling is probably not always happy.
The friend who always wears a scowl probably needs your pity and support more than your solutions or criticisms.
I have always felt fortunate to feel happy in my skin. I don't think that it's due to any special quality that I have developed. I think that much of it is due to natural temperament. I certainly have experienced trouble throughout my life. I have made bad choices and good choices and both have affected me. My joys and sorrows have equally shaped the person I am and the person I am becoming.
I need to remember not to judge others who do not feel this same comfort level. I do think that to an extent, our attitude does determine how we deal with success as well as failure. Successes will encourage us and failure will discourage us, but to me it's worth the risk. Accepting others for who they really are, not just the who that they project, might help them to take risks as well.
I dream, I love. . . anyway.