Thursday, April 05, 2007

I Want to Be. . . .

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.

10 comments:

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Great video and great post. Such truth and wisdom. The older I get, the more comfy I get in my own skin. everyone told me that would happen and I guess they're right, although we each hang on to certain insecurities thru the years. My personal insecurity is people not thinking I'm smart enough/qualified enough. The money and looks type hangups don't phase me, but boy do I have a hard time with success!

org junkie said...

Jennifer I've never heard that song and really enjoyed it! I couldn't agree more with this post and I hope everyone gets an opportunity to read this. Like I said in my challenge post, everyone has their own circumstances of which we may know nothing about. This is one of my life mottos and one that encourages me to find out the story behind the person not just the front they put on.
You put into words what I never could, I love that!
Laura

Joyful Days said...

Beautifully said, Jennifer.

Whether I am on the hill or in the valley, I've come to the place in my life where I know I wouldn't want to trade with anyone else--for either their sorrow & suffering or their wealth and posessions. It's taken a very long time to say that.

To try to see the rest of someone's story is a gift we all can offer.

~Blessings,
Julie

Rachelle said...

Jennifer -- a beautiful song, and a beautiful post. These are some very important thoughts that we all need to hear and think about. I have been trying so hard lately to live by exactly these ideas... trying to remember not to judge others, trying to be compassionate to people who I might be tempted to criticize. This is a wonderful reminder.

Deena said...

I just want to reach out and
{{{{{{{{{hug}}}}}}}} you...that was a wonderful post, and I wish I could publish it and make the entire world read it...especially the Christian world.

Labels are for jars, not people...and I'm tired of being stuffed inside someone else's box of expectation and demand...

Please pray for me that I will continue to grow more comfortable in my own self and to be able to manifest what you've written here in my own life. I want to be a messenger of God's love...and I fail so miserably...

You are great! Love you!

Katrina said...

Yes, very well-said. We just never know where someone else has been, or where they are. Keeping that sensitive (and patient and kind and open) spirit is often a challenge for me, but I hope I'm getting better at it.

Jennifer said...

For those of you who want the whole world to be able to read this, I'm open to that as well. . . .

MUISTO said...

Oh Jennifer, the post was really wonderful and besides your inspiring thoughts, the song really hit me right today, since this very morning on the phone I got a message getting me to think 'why do I pray anyway - nothing's moving here' and then those small lines of the songs met me here: 'but I do it anyway'.
Thanks for that 'liftup' and Happy Easter to your and your family,
Helen

Melissa R. Garrett said...

Such a wonderful post! My husband and I were just commenting this morning on how you never really know what's going on in someone else's life. I try to keep things positive on my blog, although there are times when the negative comes out.

Susanne said...

That was a great song, Jennifer. I've never heard it before. And an excellent post to follow. We never know what is behind the mask that people are hiding behind.