Friday, January 26, 2007

Looking Past the Behaviors

It's probably normal that around our house right now there is lots of conversation about when the children were babies and small children. We are looking back a bit to help us remember all that we have to look forward to with baby Mei Ling arriving in a few months. Since I am going to be taking care of her some of the time, I am really thinking about how much love these wee ones bring to you.
In these conversations that Emery and I have been having, we often think of some crazy funny thing that happened, like when Melanie was balancing a penny on her tongue and accidentally swallowed it. I was in the other room and she was watching some children's show that featured a seal balancing a ball on its nose, she thought a penny on her tongue would be the same. When we talk about such things, we might pepper the conversation with a phrase like, "oh she was just a baby". This train of thought made me think about something more serious......
when a person is an adult and we love them, we might say things like, "well,don't mind Jane, she didn't know what she was doing." when an adult does something kinda strange or not so thoughtful. The picture shows my goat Annike that I had a couple years ago. I loved this goat, but she was so full of "personality" as I called it. I loved her enough to excuse her bad (personality) behaviors. We can easily forgive the folks we love and excuse their behaviors for so many reasons. It is often simply because they are who they are and we know deep down they have good hearts, kind souls.
There is a little chapter in one of my favorite books, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and its all small stuff". titled, "Look Beyond Behavior" that is about this very thing. The author, Richard Carlson, writes, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could try to extend this same loving-kindness toward everyone we meet? " Can you imagine how this would change the world we live in ? If only we could extended this type of compassion to all around us.
I sure don't, but would like to make it a goal to behave in this way.
All a parent of a teenager has to do is think of how stupid some of the actions of their teen is, and understand this concept. We all excuse some of their behaviors saying something like , "can't put a wise head on a young body" and since we love them and hope they will figure it out someday we pass it off.
We need to care that much for the folks that maybe never get past that stage emotionally for some reason or another.
People are who they are, some are even a bit nuts. We meet them in business, talk to them on the phone and some of us have them in our extended family. Looking beyond the behavior might help us deal with them.
It would be great if we could just step back a bit, imagine these folks through the eyes of someone that loves them and just say, "oh don't mind Jane/Jim, they don't know what they are saying/doing" I bet we would all be happier. Just to not take hold of every little weird behavior of another and make it personal. Just let it stay what it is, a crazy moment that belongs to them alone.

Now on another note, busy day around here again. Taking Melanie to another Doctors appointment today. Then heading to Hobby Lobby for some PINK flannel. Since I am heading out the door in a bit, I didn't want to get the woodstove going. The house is cold, my fingers are freezing as I type. As cold as it feels, I know its nothing like what my sisters and Melissa are experiencing back in New England. So will just count my blessings on my cold hands.

This is my favorite picture of Annike, her expression says it all.


Anonymous said...

Again, excellent food for thought for me when it comes to dealing with my partner's teen-aged boys. I too often fail to look past the behaviour -- most of which is just normal kids stuff. Thanks for the reminder.

Lucy said...

Ohh yes I remmebered that you had this lovely goat! ... They are very goodlooking at pictures. don't you think :-))

Much To Catch Up....

In mid January, we saw the passing of my father and after nearly two years of caring for him, it was so hard to see him leave u...