“I don’t understand how they could…” Go ahead. Fill in the blank.
Funny thing, rarely, has anyone making such a statement, truly SOUGHT out clarity or understanding, rather, they made the statement in disbelief that anyone has ever thought to look at something in a different way, turning a blind eye to the possibility that there may be more to the picture than what is seen at surface level.
As a mum, juggling a life at work, at home and on Instagram – insert a walk of shame here… 😉 , I feel as though my struggles, my victories and my reality are often overshadowed by the imperfections and failures that seem to arise at the most inopportune times. And just when I thought I had every plate perfectly twirling at the tip of each rod, in perfect harmony, an unforeseen crack has lead me to topple nearly everything I’ve been working on. And I hear,
“I don’t understand why you can’t…” I’m at a loss for words as I struggle to grasp on to the closest survival instinct I have. I am in awe by the statement. Unfortunately, at this time I am unable to explain the intricate details of being in three places at once. As, I search for the words, I find myself holding my breath until I have a free moment to exhale.
“I don’t understand who would ever…” And the guilt sets in.
Empathy… when in doubt, choose empathy. While listening could have prevented my crisis from reaching its boiling point, empathy could have saved my sanity. Extend an olive branch… offer a sounding board. But these moments are so delicate. And just like that, an opportunity was missed, a conversation was lost. In an instance, when listening could have made more ground than putting a stake in it, the silence deepened and the divide widened.
More than ever we need to seek understanding… more than ever we need to ask more questions and listen.
Things will not slow down… In fact, the New Year will come swiftly without warning or concern. Generations will continue to define themselves and tackle challenges in the best way they know. Cultures will be more interconnected and we will learn how to constructively live in shared spaces, leading with respect and appreciation. AND … Households will re-evaluate and reset, as they attempt to “get it right”.
In the end we must find the patience to widen our horizons… take the time to truly examine the world around us… beyond the surface of things. We must choose to listen. There is no greater loss than missed understandings.