Life is all about relationships. From the moment we’re born, we’re somebody’s child or grandchild, niece or nephew, brother, sister or cousin. Life is also a great teacher. So in turn, we learn from life, and we learn from relationships. How well we grasp the lessons is not immediately known, but it makes a mark, that’s certain.
“I think we learn the most from imperfect relationships – things like forgiveness and compassion.” — Andrea Thompson
They say life is not about being perfect, but it feels perfect when we accept the imperfections. It’s true for most relationships too. I feel no relationship is imperfect, because the imperfections make it perfect when accepted.
When I was very young, I was in an accident. I was too young then to realize what happened, but when I grew up, I heard of it from my parents and came to know that there was somebody who was most affected by that – my grandfather. I haven’t told him in person, and he’s most likely to laugh it off even if I do, but I feel he’s very brave. He had the courage to survive that, and pampered me even more then. However, he is the most adamant person I know. There are times he tests me, and I fail. It’s his way or the highway, no matter if his way only leads to harm. But I still love him. From him, I’ve learned about courage, and I’ve learned to be patient, because there are times when I feel like yelling my throat sore with the way he acts. I’ve also learned how not to be angry, for his temper can rise very easily. I’ve also learned about love, the way he has loved my sister and me from when we were young. He never likes to break his routine, and he feels out of place when he’s forced to. I only wish the best for him.
My main pillar of support has been my mom. My father, like grandpa, used to have a very short temper. And looking back at childhood, I can see that I’ve done my absolute best to push his buttons. And well, when he became angry often, I naturally veered toward mom. From her too, I’ve learned patience; but in a good way. She hears me out when I talk to her. She knows when something is bothering me. She worries for me. She’s the best mom, really; though a lot of times over the years, that worry has led to her being very restrictive about things. She loves things to be done in a particular way, and when I don’t do it that way, she gets irked. These are the little imperfections really. None of these little things matter in front of her love. She also has this amazing memory for the importance of dates, something I’m happy to have inherited from her. It doesn’t matter for most people, but it does to her and from her, I learned that little things do matter. From my father, I’ve learned that we get angry at the people we love, and sometimes it is because we care a lot and want the best for them. That lesson is something that has come in handy these days. I’ve also learned to try and do things completely. He’s one who insists and tells us that if something has to be effective, it can’t be stopped the first time you see results. Granted, over emphasizing on that gets on my nerves at times, but it does have its value.
Friends are the family we choose. I’ve a few friends who know me inside out, and know when I’m low even before I realize it at times. I’m lucky on that front. They’ve pulled be back when I was at the edge with half a step over, and scolded me back to normal. They’ve believed in me when I hadn’t the heart to believe in myself. It’s with them that I can be jovial. I had life before, but they taught me to live. Many have pointed fingers at me for some silly reasons, pulled me down when their idea of what I had to do was not met, and some have even walked away from me without a word of explanation. I’ve learned to forgive when they came back and accepted they were wrong to point fingers, or accepted their hand of friendship when they knew I wasn’t in the wrong. I’ve even learned to let go and apologize when the friendship has meant that much to me. From some, I’ve learned honesty, for they are straightforward with me when I’ve taken them for granted. But most of all, I’ve learned acceptance. For each of them are different, and neither have I tried to change them to my idea of who they should be, nor have they pushed their idea of who I should be on me.
But there are times when imperfections haven’t been accepted. When that happens, I’ll be honest, it pricks. But even pain can be a teacher.
There have been friends who have walked away from me without letting me know why. I’ve let go, and apologized in case it was my fault, but they’ve still been silent. Silence can be very hurtful and not speak anything at all. From that silence, I’ve learned that explanations aren’t always given, and I’ve to just move on. If they want to, they will, at their convenience, not mine.
There have been people who have held my failures against me. I accept that my journey has been bumpy, but I’m not stuck at a bump, I’ve gone past them and found joy. To hear them say that the past is past, and then bring that past up when I’m vulnerable, or when I try to advice someone I care about, it pierces me like a thousand needles at once. I’ve learned that there are people who remember only the one place where we fell; even if there have been nine places where we’ve risen. Worrying about their opinion only takes away the joy we feel when someone praises us for not staying fallen.
“You’ll never do anything in this world without courage.” – Aristotle
“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – but going on when you don’t have the strength.” – Napoleon
It is easy to go past disappointments. Some in particular test a lot harder than we think. I’m glad that there were few who taught me to move ahead when I could not. Had it not been for them, I might never have had the courage to live in words.
(© 20th January 2016)