EVERYONE HAS A STORY...
But it's their story...
Hers is unique to her. It is her reason for acting the way she does. It is rejection after rejection in her story that made me realise that this is the exact reason why she's decided to zoom in on that moment I chose to make eye contact with her. My glass has been empty for way too long – I need wine (and a snack, and to say hi to that other chick I haven't seen in ages - can't remember her name either but she makes me laugh, and to check how my hubby (he's at the braai - I know he's fine is and to make a wee), but just can’t slip away.
Everyone has a story.
Some stories are sadder than others. Some stories are scary to hear. And some stories, you may never hear. Often people act out from their story. Often their defenses are up - arrogance because perhaps they were never made to feel good enough; naivety because they were treated like a princess, protected their entire lives and were never given the chance to be independent, a bit ditsy because they didn't come from a solid family or good school upbringing or selfish because the only way they were ever noticed was to act like a manipulative martyr - after all, negative attention is still attention. Some, like in the case of my rude client that abuses his position of power do it because (I subsequently found out) they never knew love growing up so hide behind a macho mood. But that is his story.
So, while I try to have empathy with each unique story, I’m the first to advocate that your past does not determine who you are right now. You, as an adult, have full control and should take responsibility to change or adjust your behaviour to suit your life choices. Things that happened to you years ago, can’t keep taking the blame for your current unacceptable behaviour and reactions towards other people.
But, for now, let’s cut each other some slack. Let's give away grace. Let’s remember for a few seconds before we judge or simply react to the person opposite you that has a story you may know nothing about. It may teach you something when you take the time to listen to it. You also have a story. A very valid story. A story that is unique to you. A story that makes you, you – the good part... and the big, ugly wolf, with the hairy hands and big teeth part - the not so great stuff that you more often than not try and play emotional hide and seek with too.
Be proud of your story. And when you slip up, own it! Because you too want that person opposite you to afford you the same grace and kindness.