My 7 month old daughter has more honesty and patience than I do. I learn from her by seeing how she lives her life. I’ve lived that way before,but I’ve often gotten lost in dishonesty and impatience. Here’s what I mean.
At 7 months old what’s her life like? She can’t feed herself. If she goes to the bathroom, she has to sit in it until someone changes it. She’s willing to let us know when she needs some help and when she’s upset, she doesn’t hide it. She doesn’t lie about it or drink her way through it. She shows a patient way of living.
When she wakes, she will crawl around and amuse herself for a while before she yells out for us to come feed her. She’s honest, I just put her in the car with my wife and mom so she could go to a play group. She doesn’t like being in a play group all alone and she let me know. She immediately started crying. She doesn’t waste any time holding on to her bad feelings the way I do. I have wasted tons of time holding on to my bad feelings in my life.
Even today, as I’m preparing to travel, I got a little overwhelmed. That’s the kind of situation where I would let one feeling like the same as Madeline has when she’s getting in the back seat by herself. She cries herself through these feelings in a minute or two where I would let it last all day, week or month.
All the while I would tell you I was fine. I’m good and everything is great even though I am on the edge of crying. At least that’s how I used to live. Today, I draw a lot of inspiration out of seeing how my daughter lives from my point of view. I’m grateful for that because her patience then becomes my patience. When I see how good she is at waiting for me to do what she needs to do then I can be more patient in responding to an email.
I can understand that sometimes I’m able to see that the other person has something going on in their life. I’m not the only thing they have going on. The mortgage loan officer always wants things right away. Then I gave everything to him and I haven’t gotten confirmation on it for a week and a half now. I can be okay with that today when I consider how patient my daughter is waiting for everything in her life.
If she goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night, she has to sit in it all night or get upset and frustrated so she wakes us up and then gets changed that way. She doesn’t do that often. Even though she does go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, she doesn’t often scream and wake us up for help. She’s patient and she’s okay with it. She acts as if it’s not a huge deal and goes back to sleep.
I get annoyed when I wake up and have to go to the bathroom even though I can. I get annoyed in that situation. Often we think of ourselves as parents or older siblings or friends with more life experience. We think of ourselves as the more grown up one. Yet, look at my daughter and she is more or less grown up than me.
To look at her as an equal makes sense to see that she’s much better at some things than I am. She doesn’t know a lot of the things that I know yet, either. When I see what I can learn from her, I’m able to apply that to every person. Every person on this planet is my equal and has something to teach me.
That’s what works well in my support group. Many the people that have been there for a while. I have been going there for about two years now. I’m able to teach some of the new people things that worked for me. Then the people that have been there 10, 20 and 30 years teach me lots of things that worked for them. Yet, the person who’s sick, a complete mess and barely able to get through taught me so much. She showed me what not to do and she showed me courage I didn’t have when I was a mess like that. I didn’t have the courage to go out in public and actually try to get help. I stayed at home and kept making it worse. Today, I see that everyone has something to teach me, then I learn a lot more.
The key thing I see in people that are the most miserable is an unwillingness to learn from others. They have an unwillingness to try anything new. In other words, the idea that I know it all and I don’t need any help holds them back from growth. My daughter has no illusions about whether she needs help or not. She knows she needs help and she admits it.
The question for me, today is: Can I be that honest? Can I admit when I need help as honestly as my daughter does?
Today, I pray to be honest and ask for help when I need it. I pray to remember the things I’ve learned from my daughter. I pray today to see that my 7-month-old daughter has much more patience and honesty than I do. I pray that I can learn from her and gain some of that patience and honesty for myself. I pray that you have the opportunity today to see the people that have so much to share and teach and give today. I pray that you can see what everyone else is doing right in their life today. Thank you for reading this. I hope you have a great day today.
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