As we get older, we make promises to ourselves to avoid the drama of life. Some of those promises also include not being the cause of drama, however as humans we are all flawed. As a result, we always hurt the ones we love the most. Going back to school after a 20+ year reprieve often causes me to regress to my teenage self. Maybe that and the fact that my mom lives with me and still treats me like a teenager at times. She does this out of love, however, I can’t help becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy some days of my life. Selfish, immature, self-centered, short tempered and just plain disrespectful are some of the qualities I have at times that make me cringe. These are not the qualities one might expect to find in a future Paralegal who is already employed in a law office, much less a mother of three well-adjusted, polite and loving children. Yet I must confess, those qualities sometimes overtake me like the devil overtook Linda Blair in the movie, “The Exorcist”. (Thankfully, I haven’t had any incidents of my head spinning wildly and spitting up pea soup but you can appreciate the analogy.)
The thing is, it’s really difficult to look at ourselves objectively. Those rare moments that we do, we can all find things that we don’t like about ourselves. Believe me, no one is going to point those traits out to you. This is not because they don’t notice. Oh, they do. And they are annoyed with you and frustrated and hurt by you. Yet, most people will take the higher road, and keep it to themselves… at least until they get home and can vent to their unsuspecting significant other about it. Your boss is only going to give you constructive criticism in regard to your work performance. Your teachers/instructors will do he same in regard to your academic performance and professionalism. Your husband or wife knows better than to point these things out. Your family will just shake their heads and say to themselves, “Well that’s just how she is sometimes. It will pass.” And it will… But sometimes it takes a friend, that one friend you have who believes in brutal honestly, to get you to take a look deep inside yourself and want to become a better person. Now, I am not talking about just being a nice, caring and generous person. We all do that, and much of the time it is out of guilt or to redeem ourselves for our shortcomings. Kindness that comes from deep in our heart nearly always has a hidden agenda.
I want to become a better person without having to learn it from experience. I often don’t listen and just sit around and wait for it to slap me in the face. And because of this I have regrets. So this week, in between all of the homework and hoopla of the new semester starting and the pressure to overachieve, I am going to try to look deep inside of myself and think about those brutally honest words of that one friend. Instead of making excuses for myself and focusing on what I interpret as negative, I am going to soak up the rays of positivity that I can find and use them to my advantage. Maybe if I do that, I will never have to wallow in regret for my actions or words. And maybe, just maybe, from this point on I can avoid those “this too shall pass” moments.