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.
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.
Sometimes, it’s harder to realize you’re distancing yourself from the people you care about when they’re right on your doorstep.
• 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.
So often in life we make it all about us! That’s the sinful nature in us. I know that I have been guilty of this especially with my family. It is easier to blame others than to look at ourselves and our faults. Relationships can be healed and we do this by building bridges and making them strong in God’s almighty love and power.
Look forward to your next post Rachel xxx
Lizet, thank you. Take comfort in the bridge God has built with his Son, Jesus, so he can have a healed relationship with you.
The most powerful line to me was: blame only adds distance to a relationship. So well said. Makes me really think. I want to stay away from blame.