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This week the word is lost.
I have a default mode. My natural inclination is to be negative, critical, complaining. I don’t think I was born this way. I learned to be this way to protect myself from the onslaught of criticism I absorbed from others.
When I meet people throughout the day, my brain is sizing them up, the way they look, act, body language, tone of voice, like those computer glasses you see in movies that shoot off a list of data in the corner of the lens. Any detail that sets me on edge is the one I grab on to, the wall goes up, I walk the other way, avoid tangling.
A couple of things happened at work this week that has me checking my heart. The other day, I was working with a surgeon who is not well liked at all. He’s difficult, angry, foul mouthed. When he had a temper tantrum, I had this surreal moment when I realized I was looking in the mirror. Ouch! I’m not that bad Lord, am I?
There’s another person who is always cracking the whip, being bossy, laughing at others behind their back, gossiping. And it bugs me because she had a health scare. You’d think that would change an attitude. Make that person kinder, gentler. I was with a group of co-workers when that person was down the hall glaring at us like we were just standing around. (We were because there was high dose radiation therapy happening in the room we were assigned). One co-worker yelled out we weren’t just loitering. Suddenly, I blurted out I don’t like her! I couldn’t believe it came out of my mouth!
This morning I listened to a song about what love looks like. The song talked about fathers working all night, mothers teaching their kids to do the right thing, soldiers laying down their lives, God sending Jesus. I had an epiphany.
I’ve been trying to find qualities in others to make me love them when I should be looking at them as whole people. We’re all broken. We all have things about ourselves we wish we could lose.
If I look beyond the surgeon and his temper, I see a man who works exhausting hours to repair damaged backs as perfectly as he can. Because he wants people to be whole, to be pain free. He’s doing the best he can. He’s showing love and compassion for the sick. Could his behavior improve? Sure. But so can mine.
How about the co-worker I blurted my dislike about? She bends over backwards to make sure the same surgeon has every little thing he needs to make his cases go without a hitch. She’s showing love and compassion for the surgeon and the patients. Could her behavior improve? Sure. But so can mine.
In all this, I believe I’ve made another major breakthrough in this whole business of loving others, even loving myself. I need to cut others some slack as far as their behavior goes, see the bigger picture, grab onto that, and keep telling old michelle to get lost.
This took way more than 5 minutes to write. Haha!
The video that spoke to me.