Accept People for Who They Are
|My coach, Willie, sent me this article this week.
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and she was explaining to me how disappointed she was in people and the things that they do and have done to her. She went on and on about how upset and heartbroken she was, and has been, about some of her family and friends. She talked about how they hurt her and how she wished they would change and be better people. She wanted them to be different than the people they were.
Halfway through this complaint-a-thon, I asked her to take a walk with me in the backyard. Now, you have to know this particular friend of mine. She hates the heat, and it was a hot day. I said, “come on” so she reluctantly came with me.
We got outside and it was steaming hot. I could see that she was uncomfortable. Nevertheless, we kept walking around my backyard. As she was still complaining about people, I asked her what she thought of my grass. Mind you, in order to appreciate the grass you had to stand in the direct sunlight. She said “Wow, I love your grass. It’s beautiful, but it’s hot right here. Let’s cool off under that oak tree over there.”
So, as she started to walk to the tree I said, “No no, let’s stay here in the grass and cool off.”
She turned to me quickly and said, “We can’t cool off on this grass.”
Right then, I said to her, “But you just said the grass was beautiful.”
“I did” she replied. Then, I asked her, “Why won’t you stay here?” She said, because she was hot and the grass couldn’t cool her off. So, we walked over to the oak tree and sat there.
She said, “Now you see? This is what I needed.”
Then I asked her this question. “The grass was beautiful. You loved it. Why didn’t you get mad with the grass because it couldn’t provide the shade you wanted?
She was confused, so I went on to explain myself. “People in this world, whether they were created a certain way or became that way through life’s circumstances, are who they are. Stop wishing they will be someone else.”
I said, “The next time you get upset with someone because they can’t do, or can’t be what you want them to be, remember the grass. Never get mad at a blade of grass because it’s not a tree. Appreciate the grass for what it is. Let it provide to you what it can, but don’t expect more. Your life will get so much easier when you start letting people be who they are and stop expecting them to give you what they don’t have or don’t know how to give. Just like that grass couldn’t provide shade because it wasn’t made to, some people are not made to give you what you’re asking for. So, stop looking for it. You will be shocked at how much peace you find when you really get this.”
And the last thing I said to her was this. “You wouldn’t be so frustrated with people who are like the grass if you had more people who are like trees in your life.”
I could really go deep into this, but I gotta go back to work. Talk to me. What do you think?