We’re Supposed To

We’re Supposed To

Content warning: profanity 

Almost two years ago, a friend gave me a little box of cards called “Spiritual AF—99 Inspirational cards for people who fucking need some inspiration”. Shortly after I received those cards, the pandemic hit. During the pandemic, I really appreciated flipping through them to keep me motivated or inspired. They were almost always exactly what I needed to hear that day.  

Today I flipped to a new card and it read on the front:  

Your growth scares people who don’t want to change”  

and on the back it says:  

“Are you getting shit from people you think should be cheering you on? If you thought of them as scared people instead of giant assholes, could you be more compassionate with them—or at least let their current asshole-ish-ness slide for now? Mmm… compassion. Tastes nice ‘n’ minty fresh, doesn’t it?” 

If you thought of them as scared people instead of giant assholes, could you be more compassionate with them? 

I feel like I could end my In Between Sundays just with that. But I won’t because I have a confession…  

I have most certainly been that person. The one terrified of change. Upset that someone I care about is changing more rapidly than I am.  

But, I actually like to consider myself someone who loves and even thrives off of change. I need seasonal changes (like the weather right now) to keep me sane and energized. I need big adjustments in my life, house, and day-to-day experiences to hold me down. Maybe it’s the only thing I know right now in my stage of life with raising a two-year-old in the midst of a pandemic, climate crisis, and overall unsettled world. After all, “the only thing certain in life is uncertainty” —Derek Hough.  

All of this is to say, I certainly have been the person who has grown while friends, family members, peers, or random strangers, are left in the dust. 

I have also experienced people who have just grown differently from me, though my perception of them may have been that they were not growing at all because they were not growing in the same direction I was. 

And… I have no idea which side of the coin is harder to handle. Being the one left behind or leaving the people you love behind?  

What have your experiences been? I feel like I know the answer for how to handle someone who I have “grown out of”. Compassion, of course, is one way and the other extreme is leaving the person behind, which is another completely valid option. These and many other self-affirming options have been reiterated to me a million times.  

But the harder, more humbling question is how do I handle someone else growing faster than I? How do I see the signs that maybe I am not working hard enough on myself or I am not adjusting my behavior accordingly to the ever-changing ever-evolving world? 

What could someone say to me that would get through to me in a compassionate way?  

*Brakes screech* 

Are you thinking about all the other people who need to be reading these words and evaluating their behavior? Don’t worry about them. What about you? What could someone say to you that would get through to you in a compassionate way that will lead you to necessary change? 

Because look, we are all STILL growing.  

And we have all grown.  

You have already done so much changing to get you to the point you are at now. You have grown so much and learned and unlearned so many things.  After all, we are supposed to.

So, tell me, what has someone said to you in the past that has gotten through to you? Leave it in the comments because maybe it will inspire someone else.  

4 Comments

  1. Karyn B Marsh

    This is the message I needed today. It made me think about an interaction I have been having with someone close over the last couple of weeks. Seeing this person as being scared shifted my perceptions completely and helped me to calm down. Maybe, I need to open with love, like tell this person that I love them and appreciate all that they are trying to do, like tell them that I want the same outcomes. Maybe that will crack them open enough to let the light in.

  2. Suzanne Henig

    Thanks, Hannah. Good lessons here. These days, between the Trumpers and the antivaxxers, my patience and respect can quickly change to judgment and dismissal. Maybe I would become a better person if I was more compassionate with them. Even if they are still giant assholes.

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