It’s all about you, or is it?

 

Life is not about you. It’s all about me.

I didn’t say these words to my mother on the other end of the phone. Instead, I screamed them to my husband when I had finished the call.

SOS phone

 

I had my reasons for being so selfish, and they seemed like good ones. I lived 3,000 miles away. I had no family close by. My three children only saw their grandmother two times a year.

When my toddler had just said his first word after months of speech therapy, and my daughter has been chosen to be the frog in the Kindergarten classroom play, I needed someone to share my excitement. So, I picked up the phone. It was my bragging time.

I didn’t want to hear about my brother’s children who were running around my mother’s feet twice a week.

Yet it wasn’t distance that was the problem. It was my attitude. I was concerned for my interests, not those of others.

My self-serving perspective was undermining the very relationships I wanted to strengthen.

I couldn’t have a conversation be all about me and pass fault on the other person for not responding in the way I wanted. Blame only adds distance to a relationship.

It wasn’t my mother’s, my brother’s, or anyone else’s responsibility I was the other side of the Atlantic. Only my own.

Life was not all about me, or my children. I should have been glad to hear about my nieces and nephews. Anyway, I suspected family at home probably got sick of hearing about my children and me in America.

It took an ocean to make me realize I needed to change the way I was reacting.

Atlantic Ocean

 

Sometimes, it’s harder to realize you’re distancing yourself from the people you care about when they’re right on your doorstep.

Life Lessons

• You can cling on to finding fault, or you can let go and move forward.

• Being self-seeking is not good for our emotional, physical or spiritual health. We are happier and healthier when we are charitable.

• It’s better to build bridges than burn them.

• What seems like common sense, is also a God-way of living.

• We should put the interests of other people before our own concerns. Jesus spoke about this: treat others as you would want to be treated. He also modeled it for us.

As the poem Always by Keith M. Kent says:

People are unreasonable, illogical, self-centered

…love them anyway.

 

Further reading on how blaming hurts relationships is available in Psychology Today.

Discussion

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