Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Fabric of Our Existence
Sometimes we lose track of what is really important in our lives. We get so busy that we simply forget to take stock in the things we value most. For me, it is my daughters, my Love, and me. What I learned, however, upon becoming a parent over 13 years ago, is that I can care about everyone else just as much as I want, but if I don't care about myself then I risk destroying it all or losing it all anyway.
Once I realized that those whom I care about the most needed me there was an instant shift in my consciousness. It happened automatically one day. My first born was about a month old and I was having a bit of a difficult day. The night before was sleepless with a baby crying with colic and the morning was harrowing with helping people who were grieving the loss of a child of their own. In the afternoon I encountered a client who, by nature, was abrasive. She decided that this was the day to insult me. Before I even thought the words they came out of my mouth something to the effect of, "You might think that you can treat me this way, but I am here to tell you that you cannot treat the father of my child this way. You are now fired as a client. Get out." There was a lot of backtracking on her part, to no avail. I have made sure to not ever see her again.
What came out of this for me was a realization that fatherhood had changed something in me. I knew people were depending upon me to be there for them, but if I allowed anyone to treat me miserably it would chip away at me till there was nothing left for my family. This would not do.
I encourage everyone to find the hook. The hook is that thing inside that allows you to stick up for yourself and allows you to demand dignity and respect from those who are not showing it. This is also something that allows us to understand things from others' perspectives. Every challenge that I have personally experienced has allowed me to develop more compassion and understanding for others and what they may be going through. Sometimes showing respect can be as simple as allowing someone their space, or not getting in their face to help them fix things when they are feeling bad about something and needing to simply feel it. It can be as much what we don't do as it is what we do. The wisdom comes when we know which it is that is needed in the moment. For that, we need to follow our hearts and understand the fabric of our own existence.