In the past year, I have totally revamped how I form and grow relationships (platonic, romantic, or other). During this process, I have learned one very important thing: everyone may not want to hear my perspective. Even after I have diligently listened to their perspective, they may have no interest in hearing mine. And that is OKAY. It doesn’t make me or my perspective any less valid. If anything, it makes me the bigger person because I am the one with a mind open enough to respect and observe perspectives outside of my own.
This morning’s scripture of the day came from James 1:19. It directs a person to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Funny how well it resonates with my process. I have always been a good listener. But I was not always so slow to speak, and I can definitely admit I was never slow to anger. I assumed that if a friend was divulging their woes and cares on me, that they automatically wanted to hear what I had to say in response. On occasion, this caused a wedge of disagreements. They were not open or ready to hear my persepctive, especially if it did not sympathize with their plight. Then one day, a conversation with one of my mentors enlightened me. I had just finished relaying my woes and cares to her. She acknowledged my troubles and responded with a soft question: “Would you like to hear my perspective?” Initially, I was bewildered by this response. Then, an overwhelming sense of gratitude washed over me. Gratitude because my feelings were the priority; because I now had the option (or control) to decide what I wanted to do about my situation: continue to sulk or open my mind to resolutions I had not previously thought of; and gratitude that whatever I decided, we both were okay.
By growing into this kind of maturity, I have been able to form better relationships with my current friends and familiy and ease into (and away from) new relationships with people I encounter every day.
©2012 by Alexandria Dotson and Ayana Martin