|Again and Again, 3 Ways for Compassion and Wisdom|
In a conversation with a woman 20 years my junior, I learned something again.
I remembered being her age and feeling that I was quite wise, just as she shared with me. She explained how she grew up in a family where she felt she had been misunderstood. Where her brothers were the focus and as the youngest and... a girl, not much was expected of her.
As her story was told, her brothers grew to adulthood being spoiled by doting parents while she buried herself in her books. She eventually outgrew her brothers and became a physician. And yet, she had no voice. The confident, smart person who could teach others could not find her voice in the company of her family.
She told me that she had been working on her personal growth for awhile now and felt that now that she was forty she was "pretty well okay".
Ah, I thought to myself. How do I tell her? Would I have listened in my younger years to anyone who told me that personal growth goes on forever. That each day, turns into a string of weeks and given the gift of time, we have the chance to keep learning about human behaviour.
Some time ago I wrote 3-Woman Intersection, words that I felt might be useful for her to hear. I explained it to her in this way.
People are in our lives for a reason, we each have some messy part of ourselves that we are destined to understand and heal. If it only were so simple, that once we understand that we are easily healed. In my young friend's case, she yearned to have a voice. A strong and confident response when she felt that she had been pushed into a corner.
I said to her was that the personalities she had experienced, the ones that give us an opportunity to grow are bound to show up again. And each time we can change our response. What would she do next time, and the time after that?
I told her that learning is going to continue and that is why we must choose to turn to the masters that resonate with us. The speakers or writers or artists that make us slow down enough to truly listen. You'll know who they are as they enter your life.
To her I said, here are 3 thoughts to aid in your learning:
- what will you do when your teenager brings home a new friend, and that friend without invitation opens your fridge door and helps themselves? Will you be able to respond with your house rules with compassion and wisdom? Will you find your voice?
- how will you react when your sales dinner meeting comes to a close, and your client orders a dinner to take home to his sick wife on your expense account? Will you be able to keep your integrity and find your voice with compassion and wisdom?
- when someone steps to the front of the line while you've been waiting your turn, what will you do? Will you be able to tell them politely that line starts behind you? With compassion and wisdom will you let them go ahead of you because they seemed truly embarrassed and apologetic.
And that is why we keep meeting the same kind of people. Hopefully, each of us is learning something. For when you learn, then you can share.
The people we meet who help us learn compassion and wisdom. (Click to Tweet)