I heard a nugget of wisdom the other day and although the speaker was referring to romance, I realized her advice could benefit all of my relationships.
Wavebreak Media Ltd / 123RF Photo
I recently heard one of those pearls of wisdom you encounter from time to time, often when least expected, and decided to make it something I would never forget: “Don’t make it difficult for him to love you.”
I realized how often I did exactly that — made it difficult to be lovable, not just in my romantic relationships, but in my other relationships, as well. Why reserve it for “him” when the same concept could be generously bestowed on anyone who crossed my path?
The idea of choosing a kinder approach rather than resorting to mean mode (“hurry up” and “do it my way”) reminded me of a storybook of parables I had as a kid. One of the stories was about a wager made between the sun and the wind and it went like this:
The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.”
So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too warm to walk wrapped in his cloak.
The lesson? Being severe — criticizing and complaining — doesn’t get the desired result.
It doesn’t mean being a people-pleaser or a doormat; rather it’s about getting rid of judgment and self-righteous indignation. It’s about letting go of always being the one with the better idea — even when it is. It’s also about letting go of being the victim, which is really just a passive/aggressive attempt to manipulate someone’s behavior.
Instead, it’s following the sun’s example. It’s making it easy for people to love or even like me. It’s seeing what I can do for someone else without making sure I get reward and recognition. It’s about being in a place where good character is more important than being popular. It’s aspiring to be honest, dependable, generous and kind. I figure if I’m in “sun mode” and people still snarl, it’s pretty safe to say they have the problem, not me!
Nuggets of wisdom like “don’t make it difficult for him to love you” keep me on track and shift me to a place where life is more enjoyable. I don’t succeed in doing it all the time, but being aware that I have a choice to be kind, no matter how much I want to “be right,” is making it so much easier to fall asleep at night.
Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.