How To React When Loved Ones Act As Fools by James Russell Lingerfelt
When people we love, who have been taught ethics and right versus wrong, when they venture away and engage in what we feel is irresponsible behavior, I have learned to ask this question:
What if they are not being rebellious, but simply testing life, seeking to understand if what they have always been taught is actually true? “I want to learn on my own,” they say. Of course we react – we love them! We don’t want to see additional pain in their life.
But what we may interpret as stubborn, and hard-hearted, might actually be their tests, growth pains, trials, lessons, and sufferings. In my own life I have found that though knowledge through teachers and books have been excellent instructors, where I truly learned about the world was through my personal encounters. Experience.
Living amidst the world. Experiencing reality (deducting truth from experience) rather than idealism (reinterpreting my experiences to compliment my preconceived notions).
The roads others have traveled are unlike mine. And mine are unlike theirs. We cannot possibly understand each others journeys because we ourselves did not travel them.
But we can listen and empathize with our loves ones (empathy is not synonymous with sympathy). And we can reflect in hindsight and recognize that hardships were necessary for us to grow in strength and wisdom.
Experience has taught me that when I do not judge the hearts of loved ones when they make drastic mistakes, but rather await them at the bottom of Fool’s Hill to catch them if or when they fall, my relationships (and life itself) become richer and more rewarding.
My loved ones are thankful for my loyalty, which always trumps a shaking finger in their face.
In the words of Norman Mclean, “And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them. We can love completely without complete understanding.”
Read another popular post: Don’t Ever Apologize For Loving Someone – Not Ever!
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