In sickness and in health
Being sick can bring out the best or the worst in us. I also believe it is in these kinds of moments that we let our guard down and have to relinquish our sense of control. And I find that when we do this, it can bring out the best or worst in others. These moments can be humbling and a great blessing.
Over the last couple of years I have been working at showing and expressing more gratitude in life. This applies to my family as well. I wanted to stop complaining and criticizing and start focusing on what I loved about them and what I was grateful for because of them. Doing this has brought about many wonderful and amazing changes in me. And because I changed, this allowed them to react differently to my actions which brought amazing changes in our relationships.
Although this has been wonderful and this was my desired goal, we all know that we are not able to be our best selves 100% of the time or be free of making mistakes. The moments when I feel I am being more negative and less grateful, especially with my family, takes a toll on not only how I feel but on my family as well. Sometimes I desperately desire to reconnect with that sense of gratitude that I had felt before which allowed me to connect with my joy. But try as I might, sometimes, I am just not able to feel it. When this happens it can frustrate me and cause me to get into a viscous cycle of negativity I was unable to get out of on my own.
Once when I became sick it gave me perspective with this. When you become sick it is easy to complain and grumble because you feel crappy and you know how good you can feel instead. However, when we do this we only serve to make ourselves more miserable than we already are. And even though pain is inevitable in life, suffering is optional. So I decided instead of grumbling and complaining I would express gratitude to God for all that I didn't have to bear on top of being sick. I wasn't perfect at it but I can say it made a big difference. The biggest difference it made was in being able to see all of the great and wonderful things that my family was doing for me. It allowed me to reconnect with my gratitude and helped me to recognize how my family was serving me.
In letting my guard down and relinquishing my need for control I was able to see the best in the people I love the best. They were kind, generous, loving, and above all patient with me, my demands, and the extra burdens placed on them due to my incapacitated state. In being weak and humble I was able to be served and loved to a greater degree than when I am trying to ensure happiness by controlling things.
As I have come to this understanding it is changing my outlook and causing me to re-evaluate the what, how, and why of my actions. I ask you, allow your loved ones to serve you in their own way without defining how it has to look or happen. You'll be surprised with the love you will be given and the love you feel in return for them.