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Lessons Learned (Errrr...LearnING)

I don't know the exact date or how long we had been married. I can't even remember the person or specific circumstance...but I can tell you the exact words that I said and Michael's eye opening response to me.

It's really pretty ridiculous and I'm embarrassed to share this with you...but for the sake of authenticity...I'm going to.

A few years ago, as Michael and I were leaving some social event, I complained to him that someone (most likely female so I'll probably refer to this person as a "her" even though I don't even remember who it was) hadn't spoken to me.

Now, I'll stop right here. We had been married for a while because I'm pretty sure that all five of our kiddos were in the car...so Michael had probably heard similar nonsense from me on too many occasions to count. I'm extremely over analytical and I am constantly looking for proof that people don't like me.

Anyway, in response he says (very nonchalantly) "well, did you talk to her?".

Okay, at this point I was in shock. I probably replied with something similar to..."are you taking HER side?" and then I'm sure I started crying and Michael wished he'd kept his mouth shut. I shudder at the memory.

I have to admit...I was completely shocked by the question. You mean, it works BOTH ways? They don't have to come to me?! And if they don't it's NOT necessarily a slight?!

Huh. Whooda thunk it?! I obviously didn't.

I don't know why this was so eye opening for me or why I had never considered it before. I guess it was just selfishness.

And even though I'm sure Michael doesn't remember asking the question or my resulting tantrum (do you remember each speck of sand?) I really appreciate him asking it.

While I won't say I've never felt slighted since...or been selfish in social situations...it made me aware.

It made me aware and much more compassionate because if I could be that ignorant about something so obvious then maybe when someone else does something thoughtless, or even rude, they are honestly just oblivious and they really don't mean anything by it.

It's made me much more optimistic in relationships. I spend a lot less time wondering if people like me and looking for the evidence either way. I assume (or at least TRY to!) of other people what I hope they will assume about me...because really...there are NOT enough hours in the day to analyze everyone's words and actions and love them too. And that's what I want to do...love people.

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