As my mom would say…

My mother has this pearl of wisdom that she had tried to ingrain in me from a very young age — that we are all created differently, and that although I had my strengths and my talents, I should not expect others to be at par with them, and that I should be patient and accept others for their shortcomings.  For if we were all created equal, then I wouldn’t be good at what I was good at — I would be part of the norm so to speak.  It was her way to instill some humility in me by making me realize even those who fall short were given less for a reason.

I miss my Mom.  And I miss her all the more the past few weeks that I have had some challenges as far as being judged for what I have said and done by those who didn’t know me well enough.  It has taken me the past two weeks to be able to say I’m okay now.  Even thinking about what had happened and the things that had been said no longer rile me up or unsettle me like they did when the words were still ringing in my ears.

After all, I am by no means a saint.  Forgiveness is easier for me than forgetting.  And sometimes, the memory of painful words and incidents are harder to let go of than the feelings of pain associated with it.

But my mother is right.  While I have managed to widen my outlook in life and I have a higher tolerance for the quirks of others who do not think like I do, I cannot expect others to be as open-minded nor as accepting as I am.  I, too, fall prey to wrong judgment, even if you say it’s giving someone the benefit of the doubt that was undeserved.  My bad, as I would say — I should’ve known better.

Sometimes I am honest to a fault, to the point that I end up putting my foot in my mouth.  Or worse, to the point that I end up being misjudged or misunderstood.  Then again, perhaps it is those brushes with people jumping to conclusions wrongly about what I meant by what I did or said that has made me more tolerant of others.  Where I would normally have shunned the types whose opinions clashed with mine, I have learned that sometimes, tolerance will get me farther and will actually not really cost me much — except perhaps for a spell with boredom and a tug-of-war with my patience. 

I had written a lengthy missive — hoping to assure a third party that I was not angry at him.  After all, the transgressions of the wife are not the transgressions of the husband.  I am actually not even angry — just totally disconnected.  That a friendship that we had all hoped would be formed is now a distant possibility is but a consequence of what happened.  There was a question as to how to rectify things, or how to resolve the situation — but to my mind, there was nothing to resolve, it was not a wrong that could be righted just as there was no question that needed answering..  It just happened and we all have to live with the consequences. 

I, too, am guilty of sometimes closing my doors to people who strike a raw nerve in me.  But I retreat and just take a step back — I don’t go charging to tell off this person I don’t like how she does things or what she said or what not.  There are people who, for no reason at all, don’t have a good fit with me socially, just as there are people who make me feel as though I’ve known them a lifetime and then some.  But for the former, I remind myself about what my Mom used to tell me.  I hear her telling me I should not look for what I want or what I hope to see in the people I encounter — I should not look for “me” in them.  So where I would be more patient, I realize others will not be as tolerant.  Where I would have the gumption to speak out, others would be timid.  Where I would choose to hold my piece, others would be outspoken.

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