You were late and I was angry. There were seventeen thousand things I needed to accomplish that day and yet you were twenty minutes late and counting. At first it was impatience as I realized that once again you weren’t going to be there exactly on time. I have a thing about time…. I’m always early. If I’m not there a few minutes early, I literally feel late. It’s one of those many strange personality quirks I have. I ordered our usual, mine and yours. Then I sat. And sat. I checked my watch and tried not to think about how silly I looked with two meals on the table. Finally I ate. My lunch break was coming to an end and I was mad yet still hungry. I ate some off your plate too. Just because I could.
When I was finished, I just gave up… I packed up my little lunch leftovers (yes, yours too), left the waiter cash to cover the bill and left. I was really irate with you for the rest of the day. It clouded my whole afternoon, that anger. When you reached out to me later that day, I let you know it. I wasn’t really mean but I let you know right off the bat that you stood me up and that was inconsiderate of you. I felt awkward sitting there alone. I made time out of my busy day to be on time. I …. I….. I….
Why is it that whenever someone does something that may have the slightest effect on my life, I take it personal? Is it human nature again coming into play? Looking back, I wish I could sit that "me" down and explain that the world doesn’t revolve around her. I get it…. That "me" was really busy. She had responsibilities and a lot on her plate to handle alone. She felt pulled in ten directions and ended each day counting up the things she didn’t finish. She was also selfish. Everyone has strife. Everyone has a lot on their plate. At no point did I ever reach out and ask why you were late….. Later on when I found out why you were late, I was still irate. But by then, God had been working on my heart and that was a harsh lesson. I was beginning to see that it wasn’t always about me.
When someone makes a reckless or stupid decision with their life, often times our first question is "Why did they do this to me?"….. Often our pain and attention stays focused on how it makes us feel. We can’t see past the edge of our own emotions. Newsflash… it had nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. When we can’t see past our perception, we can’t be a blessing to others. Putting our own feelings aside for another’s can sometimes be the biggest obstacle in our path…. That path to maturity and happiness.
Moving past the point where my life is about "me" was a big step in my life. It didn’t happen overnight but I believe that we’re meant to reach that stage eventually. I’m not entirely sure that I have completely passed that stage in all honesty but I work at it. Each and every experience helps me to grow as a person. Whether I learn the lesson the easy way or not, I learn it.
It’s that defining moment when we step outside of ourselves and make the choice for "more". More understanding, more compassion, just more everything. I think for most it happens when you become parents; there will come a time in your child’s life as they grow when you have to put your child’s best interest before your own. Maybe it’s letting your teen suffer the consequences instead of cleaning up the mess… Maybe it’s watching your adult child fail at the same lesson over and over. Knowing that the outcome will be better for them if they learn it themselves. Maybe it’s just understanding that when someone messes up, it’s not about you. Each of us have our own journey to make…. Be a positive part of someone’s journey.
— Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Now living in the remoteness of North Dakota, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.