Archive for Life Lessons

Life Lessons

Posted in Blessings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2013 by Tanya


This weeks lessons centered on the importance of extending kindness, gratitude, compassion and respect in every imaginable facet.

Initially in these scenarios, my immediate reaction might have been one derived from frustration. Instead, I discovered myself in the simultaneous positions of teacher and pupil once again.

It would have been relatively simple to voice my frustration and anger in each of these situations. Yet, despite my feelings I was able to exercise what I believed to be the appropriate course of action and perhaps lend a bit of enlightenment to what could have potentially resulted in entirely negative exchanges.

My students, if you will, were individuals approximately twenty years my senior and thirty eight years my junior. Neither scenario proved to be an easy task, both parties were reluctant and resistant to express rationality or entertain room for reason or the possibility of error. The situations demanded a demonstration of endurance, patience, humility, compassion, trust and love. A little nurturant tutelage was in order for all of us.

Anyone that knows me well enough, also knows that I rarely back down from a challenge. On the contrary, they often inspire and fuel me toward new heights of self standards, discovery and awareness. Each new challenge, undeniably tests my levels of endurance and patience and these two in particular were anything but mediocre in ominence.

The week began simply enough, ordinary in every way.

I received a phone call just prior to heading out toward work and I immediately felt the scales of positivity begin to tip. En route to work, as my thoughts began to spiral through imagined confrontations, I could feel my jaw set and begin to flex. Upon my arrival I quickly assessed that the situation was far more grievous than initially anticipated. Anger had reared her ugly head and it was a very uncomfortable and ill fitting reunion.

A gauntlet had most assuredly been thrown and demanded a response. And as ridiculous and uncanny as it might sound, my first intuitive response was one of gratitude. My next thought of course, was that rather than make a rash decision based predominately on frustration…perhaps I should enlist the advice of my supervisor. Imagine my surprise when she suggested we spin my initial response of gratitude rather than the expected confrontational stance.

Although I had hoped that the inevitable call would get lost in the airwaves somewhere, my phone rang anyway, just as I already knew that it would.

My greeting was met with an onslaught of accusations, anger and negativity. I swallowed hard and extended my gratitude and appreciation anyway. There was a nearly undetectable shift in the tone of our conversation, then more negativity. Again, I flexed my jaw and reiterated the magnitude of her generosity and was met this time with a slightly softer tone, then still more negativity. I exhaled, bit my tongue and began to detail how her efforts ultimately served as a catalyst for the valuable project we had imagined. There was a brief pause and then kindness manifested with a response of “You’re very welcome.”

My jaw dropped to the ground, a smile nearly reverberating across my face as I hung up the phone.

The problem was not completely eradicated, but kindness, perspective and communication were established and they are often the key components which serve as a springboard to all others.

One down….

The next morning my phone rang again and set into motion another chain of events which initially left me reeling in their wake.

Listening and gathering facts was imperative to squelching the frustration, anger and disbelief battling in my head. The enormous gravity of the situation warranted all of my time and attention and it required a level of tolerance already stretched beyond normal limits.

So I dug in…deep…and allowed myself the necessary time to breathe in and emerse myself in the whole picture, rather than adopting the narrow perspective I might have. It was an uncomfortable and precarious position to straddle the fence and explore all possible viewpoints. But it was also necessary to reaching
a fair and amicable resolution for everyone involved.

After a considerable amount of listening and discussion, I was able to reach my own determination regarding what had occurred. At that point, three simple words whispered into tender young ears, dispelled countless fears and anxiety. “We believe you.”

Although this problem has yet to be completely resolved either, what had transpired up to this point, could have been altered dramatically had I allowed myself to be led by my anger and frustration.

Ironically enough, for the past three weeks I have been involved in leadership trainings which began by completing a Meyers-Briggs Personality Test. Results determined that my personality type is ENFJ, very Creative individuals, widely known as the Teacher, the Giver and the Smooth Persuader.
I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

Somebody obviously has a warped sense of humor. 🙂

If taken at face value, my week in it’s entirety, could have been considered fairly miserable. Yet once again I find myself smiling that I stumbled across more mountains, scaled and conquered them both and managed to maintain gratitude, compassion and love.

Who knew?