Posted by: sistermom1 | June 8, 2011

More Lessons

I am learning more lessons.

I recently realized that I am having an experience to share, and because my family is travelling this road with me, they are also having an experience.  I discussed this with my husband.  As we went to my latest doctor appointment, I talked with him about things that I have been learning about myself during this journey we are taking.  I excitedly shared my experience and discussed my latest blog entry with him.  After that, I asked him what learning he has had through our experience thus far. 

After some thought, he did share that he had learned some things.  I was happy to hear this, and he proceeded to share a very general experience about everyone having a special set of circumstances.  He shared that he has realized that everyone has something going on in their life.  Even though it might be invisible to the eye – there is always something going on with each person — and to never make any assumptions about what another person might be going through in their own life.  He also spoke about how many of his friendships have tightened and really have grown through the challenges that we are facing.

As special as these lessons were to him, they were not the kind of lessons I had hoped he would share.  I thought his lessons would be much more self-revealing — more like my own.  I was irritated that he was not sharing a lesson similar to mine, and that his learning was so general in nature.  Frankly, I was pissed and very disappointed.  I mean, what was wrong with him?  Why didn’t he have a more meaningful thing to share?  Why was he so superficial?  Was my husband an insincere, superficial man?  Had I made a major mistake marrying this man?  And why I am just finding this out after 16 years of marriage?

To be honest, I was all down the pathway — and the train of our relationship was way off the tracks.  (See how quickly my thoughts are out of control? Can you say “judgemental”?)  I was able to control myself enough not to actually say any of these things out loud.  I did keep them to myself, boiling just beneath the surface.  The next day, I calmed down enough to be able to talk with him about my reaction when he asked me about it.  He admitted that he had been very confused by my reaction to his response, and it made him think more about it.

I was able to calm down and we did have a good conversation about the difference in our reactions.  Here is what I learned from that discussion:

I do have my own reactions/lessons to learn from this journey.  My husband has his own.  Each person’s experience/lesson is unique to their own perspective, and cannot be evaluated/assessed/critiqued by anyone else.  A good example came to me so clearly the next morning — driving in the family car.   Although we are all going to the same destination, everyone in the car has a different experience of the journey and as a result is learning a different lesson.  My husband is driving, I am in the passenger seat (often sleeping), and the kids are in the back connected to their Ipods, DVD and cell phones.  Although we are all riding in the same car going in the same direction, each of us has a different experience.  Just because we are all together, doesn’t mean we will all have the same take-away.

This is my take-away — I must leave room for my family to learn whatever they are to learn from this detour.  I need to be ok with whatever they are fortunate enough to get, and willing to help them process their learning in their own way.  It won’t look like my experience, it will be theirs and whatever it is, I can’t wait to hear all about it!

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