Monday, October 25, 2021

Accepting life, our limtations and others brings greater friendship


I saw this on social media with the caption:
cats have a lot to answer for.
which I found to be super funny.
If it does not strike you at that, they perhaps
I should explain the photo.
This is where a person would stand and the Priest
would stand next to, like this one is.
And the person would confess their sins to Christ
in front of the priest.
So the cat is basically 'going to confession'... so now that you know
that, go back and read the caption and enjoy a good laugh :)

I made my Mom's chili and Jiffy Corn Bread (which is so good!). See HERE for my write up about it on IG. 

OK. So accepting.  I was texting with one of my dearest friends tonight.  And I found myself telling her something I had not been able to articulate before.  And it's this:

Accepting limitations of others and ourselves leads to greater freedom friendships and intimacy in the long run.  One of the biggest lessons in friendships is this though I have a LONG way to go on it.

The idea behind this I will try to explain.  Somewhere in our childhood to growing up years, we can begin to expect people to be a certain way.  Maybe it's that one wants to be Mothered or Fathered in a specific way.  Or one wants one's Husband to excel in things one's Father excelled at.  Or you see a friend's Mother and want your Mother to be like your friend's Mother.  Or, like I wrongly thought in my 20s, I could create a new version of myself by myself but not really in line with actually who I actually am.  (This does not mean one can't change or grow but it is possible to create an image in one's mind of one'self that is false and unattainable).  Another example, you are a Mother and wish you could mother like you see another Mother.  The list goes on.

But what if you were not supposed to be Mother like that other.  Or what if your Mom or your Dad could not Mother or Father you in a way you wish they had.  

[Now the topic of abuse and neglect is not what I mean here but even there, the concept I am trying to get it I think holds, thought it is not the situation I am refering to here; for this situation it could be acceptance of grief and learning how to live differently than one was raised]. 

There can be very real ways one wishes another to be because, at least at the beginning, they wanted that person to be there for them in that way.  

What about accepting where we are TODAY.  To realize that today I am weak. Or accepting that one's Mother is her own self and not what you want her to be.  This is a big one.  I have a very good Mother.  She continues to teach me, humble me gently, love me, be with me on the phone.  I call her every day mostly, even if only for 5 minutes.  She's one of my closest friends and I will never fully understand the great depth of blessing I have in her as my Mother.  When I was young I wished for things my Mother was not.  Now, however, I see what I am trying to articuate:  When I learned to see WHO my Mother is, to respect her and her limitations (everyone has them, they are often linked to what we call boundries) I can grow in friendship with her.  And if I realize, for instance, that she is tired or busy or plain peopled-out, I have learned (over MANY YEARS) to pick up on that, respect it and keep my phone call short.  A day or so later, when sleep is better or she is more refeshed, we have a longer conversation.  And so our friendship grows.  And it is wonderful.

I have not learned this perfectly at all and my Mom still is teaching me, especially when I may be having a more lonely day and forget (AGAIN) to stop talking (I am a talker) and start LISTENING. 

Anyway, I thought this thought that I finally articulated to a dear friend tonight, was worth telling you about and writing down here so I can remember also. 

If I accept another person into my life for who they are today, then I can truly love them.  Yes, we all need to grow. But growth takes time. And I will never be at peace if I don't learn to accept who a person IS instead of who I want them to be. 

Accepting limitations of others and ourselves leads to greater freedom friendships and intimacy in the long run. 

I am sure I still have more to learn about this and what it means but it's where I am in my understanding today and I thought it worth sharing.  I've been mulling over this idea/concept for years.

God bless you. We often have such great burdens in life, but we must remember that God loves us, is still with us and wants us to be saved more than we do.  There is ALWAYS hope and to that we must cling.  God help you, bless you, comfort you, uphold you, console you.... 


Granny Marigold said...

An excellent post. As a Mom I also find that accepting my grown children's limitations is not always easy and I'll probably work on that until the end of my life.
I'm glad you explained the little cat and priest picture.

Pilgrim said...

I feel the chili may need some fried onion.
Yes, the cats have a lot to answer for.

I’m glad you have come so far in your relationship with your mother.
Life can be so hard.

Gloriade said...

I think you are becoming very sage. There is so much emotion wrapped up in our close relationships and expectations for ourselves and others. Some people never get to the place of awareness that you are at today. That chili and corn bread looks like the perfect meal for a cool autumn evening. I will have to keep that in mind for one of these rainy and blustery days we have been experiencing lately.

Lisa said...

A cat who is ready to confess - I’m speechless!

Lisa Richards said...

Good post. The longer I live the more I realize how dysfunctional I am and the more I work on forgiving my own shortcomings and understanding more and more that we all have them. You are so right. We must give each other grace as God has done for us. Your chili reminded me that I have some good 16 bean soup in the freezer. I should make some of that cornbread to go with it! God bless you and yours!