The older I get, the more I realize that life is not easily defined. As a child in a religious home, we read stories of good and bad in the Bible and other fairy tales, but as an adult in a gray world, that’s hardly the case.
People are not just one or the other. Good or Bad. Hero or Antagonist. Many times, they’re both, it just depends on the day.
Even the worst narcissist can perform an act of “divine” kindness, that no matter the motivation, can change someone’s life for the good, forever.
Recently, in my journey to live more in the NOW, I’m learning to be more cognizant of what is happening right now, and to simply live in that. When I’m honest with myself, even I am rarely pure, even when I’m doing “good, if I search my heart carefully the “dark side” is never far away.
I believe we have the ability in each moment to decide who and what we will be.
So, to manage my expectations of myself and others… I’m learning not expect the best in everyone all the time. I WANT and even “expect” most people to love and to be kind, but that’s not always the case, and for some reason I’m “shocked” and feel “unprepared” when someone chooses to be an a**.
On the other hand, I’ve built a list of people I have negative expectations about. The ones who have been a**holes in the past. The ones who’ve hurt and disappointed. And I wonder if my negative expectations may sometimes encourage their “bad” behavior or even cause me to misread something done with “good” intentions.
So, my current work is to step back and in each situation, try to be as conscious as possible of MY moment by moment decisions to be one or the other, and to allow others the space to make theirs. And it helps if I can learn to trust that no matter what others do, I will be OK. Because at the end of the day, I can’t control anyone’s behavior but my own … and if we watch closely, we may be surprised at the Angel that appears… in us… AND in others.
Let’s be angels as much as possible today. It starts with the little things … like being patient at a crosswalk, refraining from a negative or mean comment on Facebook, or simply letting another car merge in front of us when it’s peak drive time.
Let’s walk in the kindness, compassion, generosity, love and forgiveness we are capable of. And, who knows… those a**holes… maybe they’ll have a better today tomorrow.