#205 - Let life, and those around you, teach you lessons.

This has been an interesting week. As I sit here and look back, I’ve had several good conversations. One with a woman that was recently widowed and one with a woman that is recently out of a bad relationship.

In these conversations I’ve been called a good man and friend for being a shoulder to lean on and someone that’s just there to listen.

It’s also been suggested that I am a bit of a loner. That might be true too. After being divorced for nine years it’s become easier to be on my own. I don’t have much choice.

I can already hear some of you saying “Rick, it is your choice. You just choose not to be in a relationship.” To some extent that is correct. I choose not to be in the WRONG relationship!

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Let life, and those around you, teach you lessons.
Are you willing to listen? Are you willing to observe? Are you willing to learn?

I got called out on a couple of things recently. I thought I was being helpful and protective, yet I was actually making someone feel like a child incapable of making their own decisions. What did I do? I asked a woman to sit in the car until I could walk around and open her door.

We all know our own intentions. It isn’t until someone speaks up that you find out what they are thinking. No one can read minds…even with the best of intentions you can be offensive.

I’m not talking about offensive in a snowflake kind of way where all you have to do is look sideways and someone is offended. I’m talking about a sincere misunderstanding. Miscommunication.

Adult conversations are some of the toughest to have.
Relationships can be difficult. Oh sure, they can be all fun and games in the beginning if you’re not making a serious effort.

But, if you really want to get to know someone, start asking tough questions. This will do a couple of things. It will definitely chase away almost any player, phony or fraud. Or, if the other person is really serious about you, you’ll have the tough adult conversation, gain a deeper understanding of each other and hopefully build a much stronger bond.

These conversations are rarely easy. For me, I was reminded that I have been divorced for nine years now. It’s been a while since I’ve gone into the details of my relationship with my ex, the mistakes I’ve made, and even why I got married in the first place.

In the first couple of years after my divorce all of these things were still fresh in my head. Now, not so much. I just tend not to dwell on the past. I know my ex and I had our problems. I’ve never harbored any animosity toward her. I’ve just moved on with my life.

Sometimes in trying to get to know someone we try to dig into their past to see what kind of person they are. There is a great saying, “Don’t let your past define you.”

Recognize that people make mistakes. Hopefully they learn from those mistakes. I know I have! Just as important as asking questions, watch what that person does today. Has he learned anything from his mistakes? Has she become a better person because of or in spite of her past?

Offer up honesty.
When you’re having the adult conversations, be honest with each other. If it turns out that you discover things about each other that may be deal breakers and that’s okay. Just be honest about it.

Honest conversations are sometimes very hard to have because they dredge up old feelings, old hurts, and unpleasant memories. Don’t dodge these conversations, embrace them.

Honest conversations can be difficult because sometimes you have to bear your soul to someone you don’t really know. I’m not saying to give them the balance of your checkbook or the key to your safety deposit box. Sometimes you just need be to vulnerable and let people into your world.

It would be nice to be able to present yourself all polished and new. Odds are, if you’ve lived any kind of life, the new is gone and the shine is worn off. In fact, if you’re like me, you have a few dents and dings and a couple of cracks that need to be fixed.

None of this makes you a bad person…it just makes you who you are today.

Never be intimidated by the adult conversations. Just be who you are. If someone isn’t willing to give you the chance to show them who you are today, then be willing to let them go.

For everyone you let go, there are five more to meet.

I hope today’s topic is helpful. For more information like this, check out my other blogs and videos.

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Have a great and blessed day!