Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Perfectly Imperfect

Class is going good, last week things got heated up. Whenever we are dealing with race and cultural differences emotions can take over. For once it wasn't me though, lol. I do think people hold on to the past too tightly, how long after our ancestors have been gone must we still pay for their mistakes? 600 years? 6,000 years? What about who we are now and what we have done since? And what would the future be like if we could just let go of the past and open our minds to work together? I live in my own little world...I know.

Interesting how one realization can lead to the decision making process of a completely different situation. The past...I do hold on to certain things. I am stubborn, I may rush to judgment at times, I will speak my mind and not just what someone wants to hear. But on the flip side, I am always open to hearing the other side and truly like to see the other point of view. Over the years I have really been working on not jumping to conclusions based on what I see. Each mistake I have made has had some lesson to be learned no matter how small the lesson was.

I am hard on myself when I make a mistake or hurt someone's feelings. When I realize it, it isn't easy letting go even if it was unintentional. Looking at things from every angle before making a decision is something that I am constantly working on. In the grocery store, strolling along with my groceries (kid free, this is my quiet time) there is that mom with her kids, she has lost all patience and is frustrated. So often I think to myself "Oh my, she is mean!" Then I think back on my own situation the week prior, everything went wrong that day. I had to run to the store to get that last minute dinner ingredient, dad wasn't home so the kids had to go with me. They had been fighting since they got home from school and that didn't change just because we were headed to the store. They fight all the way to the store, despite my pleas for them to stop. At this point I feel like pulling my hair out, I raise my voice and I give "the look" and miraculously there is silence. Those are the moments that make me feel so bad, wishing I had handled it with more grace and patience.

It is after my moment of reflection on myself that I am able to look at the mom and give her a sympathetic smile, a small gesture to remind her that she is not alone and some of us do understand how she is feeling. It isn't always easy, we can't always be patient, and perfection is not a reality. Even the person who looks perfect on the outside has their flaws. We are not a flawless species, from our flaws we learn not only how to be better people but how to understand others.

When I was 16 going on 30 I knew all the answers (just ask my mom), my way was THE way and no one could tell me different. It didn't occur to me that I was being close minded...I was. As a person I am continuously growing and changing and it isn't always easy to see that I may be wrong.

Why is it that my mom is always right? Yesterday she didn't tell me what I wanted to hear and for that, I am grateful. It gave me a reason to look at the situation and make a decision that wasn't based purely on emotion. I mentioned I was stubborn right? Well, when it comes to my kids it is magnified by 100! When I think of my perfectly imperfect life I realize that every good and bad thing that has happened to me throughout my childhood and adulthood has shaped me into the person I am today.

My point is that I cannot protect my kids from everything, I need to step back and let them see and experience things for themselves (within reason). When it comes to these three boys of mine I can turn into an angry mama bear that would do anything to protect her little cubs, they are my world and I cannot imagine life without them.

I believe that people can change, I know that I have. It is still hard to let my guard down when it comes to some people. Today I am grateful for my ability to be able to look at myself and pick apart my flaws and change what needs to be changed a little at a time. Afterall...I am perfectly imperfect.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last night was the start of my new class, Cultural Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice. The instructor for this coure is a hoot!! He has a great sense of humor and has a lot of experience to share. I love that the instructors for these classes always have stories to share. My first impression was that he seemed rather uptight, before class started he stood at the podium and didn't say anything. He had this serious look on his face, and I was sure that he was going to be this uptight, no nonsense kind of instructor. First impressions can be VERY deceiving!

So often we go through life, making assumptions from the limited information that we are given about people and situations. We can be so quick to judge or assume based on what we perceive something to be, versus what it really is.