I was at bible study this morning and the word that popped up during our prayer time was EMPATHY (and not out of my mouth, btw). Wow. Guess I’m on the right path with that one It was one of those times when I felt like, “Ok, Lord. I get it. I really really needed to be here doing this at this moment.” LOL.
This evening, I reflected on my strengths and weaknesses. I thought about how my shortcomings manifest themselves in my interactions with those closest to me. For example, I do not have much patience for people who do not appear to live their lives purposefully. For example, they claim to represent or value one thing but their life choices reflect something completely different. This definitely has to change because nobody is perfect and I have plenty of inconsistencies in my own life. Who am I to draw conclusions about anyone else? This does not mean I will entrust irresponsible parties with my time or well-being, but I will try harder to empathize.
I have lived in the same neighborhood for over a decade, but going for a walk or a run never gets old. I am always transfixed by the huge trees, creeks, flowers and hills that create the landscape. On the other side, near the schools, there are more people and traffic, but all one has to do is walk over to the park to once again be surrounded by the trees and sounds of birds. Sometimes I’m surprised that I still enjoy it so much.
Today I was out with the kids, realizing how much has transpired since we first chose this area for our home. Little A and Max weren’t born yet and now they are these entities doing more and more for themselves because they want to be more like Al and Nat. Nat, who was a toddler when we moved into our house, and is now in junior high school growing and learning and showing me every day how smart he is and Al, who was my shadow once upon a time, spent this Summer becoming immersed in what he hopes to become his life’s work.
There have even been changes in me (beyond these gray hairs). The person I was when I moved into this house and the person I am now are radically different. Back then, I wanted to be appreciated, almost to the extent that I did not have enough boundaries in my life to ensure that I honored my priorities. I also learned to be more of the person I thought I needed in all of my relationships. It’s amazing how the law of attraction/sowing and reaping/karma works with that one. My journey is not over, but I have come a long way.
I don’t know if men have this issue, but a lot of women in my life (myself included) have found ourselves defining our lives based on the labels we have accepted from those around us. Sometimes those labels are negative and we fight tooth and nail to shed them, but what about the labels that are perceived as positive that can be just as effective at keeping us from living the life we were created and called to live? This week I’m discovering that the time eventually arrives to shed them as well. I think I’ll have an agua fresca and marinate on that.