I am not one of those co-sleeper Mothers. I never have been. From infancy, I’ve always insisted the boys have their own bed (and use it). I’ve always been more the kind of Mother who believed children needed to learn to soothe themselves and function in their own space.
Imagine my surprise when earlier in the week, I am smacked awake by the corner of the night stand hitting my eye as I’m being kicked out of bed. Apparently, my oldest snuck into my room in the middle of the night to sleep and decided my bed was too crowded. I went from the peaceful bliss of sleep to wide awake and in pain on the cold hardwood floor in 2.2 seconds.
It is funny how life is sometimes the same way. Have you ever had someone in your life that could say or do just the right thing to make you see things totally differently? It is as if they can shine a light on your self-deceit or dysfunction by just flipping a switch.
When we call people into our lives who challenge our thoughts process, we invite unprecedented growth and healing. I think the common misconception is that when we make this invitation, we also invite drama. This can be true, especially if we resist the healing.
Drama indicates there is a fight or resistance. But, if we are in a good place, we can allow people to smack us awake without smacking them back. We can take constructive criticism. We understand in our souls that these people love us and if they are saying something that causes us to have a strong reaction, it is probably our issue rising to the surface. We try not to lash out and, instead, search ourselves for the source of the aggravation.
A piece of practical advice – when someone you love and respect says something to you that you don’t like or when your first reaction is to get defensive or angry, stop and take a breath.
Instead of reacting negatively, say “I hadn’t thought of it that way. I’m not sure if you are right but I am going to think about it and do some soul searching.” Then, drop the discussion. When you’re ready to hear it, you can go back and ask your friend why he or she believes that or what leads them to the conclusion.
Instead of a fight, you can create an opportunity for humble exploration into your imperfections. Great joy abounds in these journeys.