I try hard not to live my life looking through the rearview mirror. I try to face forward and keep it moving. I try. But sometimes, I beat myself up about decisions that I’ve made. Isn’t that what life is? One decision after another. Small decisions, big ones, last minute ones, planned out ones. When viewed that way, personal accountability is paramount. I take responsibility for all of the decisions I’ve made, no matter how ill-advised or well-intentioned those decisions may have been. Often though, I’ll go beyond taking accountability for the decision and venture into self-derisiveness.
I spoke with one of my best friends today who had some interesting observations. I need to give her a handle for this blog. I’ll call her Momma C. Momma C was my roommate in college and friend since 9th grade. We know each other quite well and she reads a lot of these self-help or personal improvement books and gives out advice. Sometimes it’s good advice, and sometimes it’s questionable but today, it was just good to talk to her.
She often gives me “food for thought” on ways to improve upon myself and my relations with other people. Having had the treat of living with me for 2 or 3 years, she’s in a pretty good position to know my ins and outs of how I relate to people. Today she wanted me to think about whether there was anything I could do to improve upon my relations with people I had dated or was currently dating. She wanted me to look into the rearview mirror.
And so she walked me through people that she remembered and asked me to think about whether there was anything that I could have done to make things better. Not necessarily things that could have changed the outcome, but just things that I could have done differently to make the situation better. I’ve often been told that I’m not necessarily as understanding of other people as I could be.
In our little walk down relationship memory lane, she tried to get me to see instances in which I could have been more aware and understanding of the other person involved. Interesting. What good is having all of these experiences if I can’t take anything from them? I’m sure that I learn things with every type of relationship that I experience, but having her point things out really helped shine some light on how things I do and say may be perceived by others. There is much good that comes from being more self-aware.
Momma C was amazed that I actually admitted to not being the great communicator that I am in my mind (in Friday’s post.) I told her that see, all of the tutorials she gives me from the self-help books she reads aren’t for nothing! 🙂
More than anything, I feel so blessed and happy to have the great friends that I have. From the ones who were over here and talked to me yesterday just to be here for me, to the ones who are far away but still as close as ever – thank you. Thank you for your honesty and patience and support (loyal readers!) and understanding.
I have the BEST friends!