I had a few spectacular moments of clarity this week! I witnessed someone being very short with their elderly parent for what seemed like no reason other than impatience. Less than 30 minutes later, I felt myself getting agitated at my own mother for something senseless and petty. I realized my hypocrisy and chuckled to myself, but it got me thinking. . .
How many times have I done that?! How often have I judged someone for something that I wouldn’t want to be judged about? I absolutely hated not being forgiven for my mistakes as a child, but have I withheld forgiveness of others? Have I abandoned people I care about when there’s nothing that crushes me more than being abandoned myself? Do I criticize people that I love only to call them out for criticizing me?
My mind began to explode with all of these parallels of life. No doubt, we are surrounded by them every single day, but most of us are so unaware that we don’t see them!
One woman, who hated her angry and critical father, screams at her own kids for dirtying the floor. Later, she puts her daughter in time out for “being mean” to her little brother.
One guy criticized and snapped at his wife for years because he felt badly about himself. Now she is not there and he feels worse than ever about himself.
She always felt she had to be perfect to be loved. In her pursuit of perfection, she wasn’t much fun to be around. He cheated on her with someone who he could ‘have fun’ with.
He wanted nothing more as a young boy than to spend time with his Dad. Now as a father himself, he works so much he is too tired to spend time with his own kids.
She grew up in chaos and unpredictability. She sought to control everything and everyone around her. She ran away to find peace. She found it for a time, but gradually the chaos began to find her again. She is now more out of control than ever.
He complained to his wife for her lack of intimacy and affection. His barrage of complaints had left her fearful of opening herself up to him (unsafe). He refused to give her safety; she refused to give him intimacy. Once divorced, he won’t be getting intimacy or affection; and she won’t have safety or security.
A Mom wants forgiveness from her son for something she did to hurt him. He criticizes her for not forgiving his father, who betrayed her. She wants forgiveness from her son, but can’t forgive her husband. The son criticizes her inability to forgive, but won’t offer her forgiveness.
Now let me REALLY blow your mind and take this full circle . . .
You want to be forgiven? Learn how to forgive.
You want to not be judged? Stop judging and criticizing.
Want people to stop abandoning you? Learn how to be there for yourself.
You want to gain control of your life? Learn how to let go.
You want the approval of others? Learn how to accept a compliment.
You want intimacy with others? Learn how to make it safe for others to be intimate with you.
You want to feel good about yourself? Look your faults, fears and failures square in the eye and accept that they are part of who you are. Then work to change them.
I pray you each receive the gift of seeing the amazing parallels in your own life!