Wednesday, January 23, 2013

30 Days of Truth: Day 2


"Something you love about yourself"

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, 
deserve your love and affection.” ~ Buddha

Yesterday's post wasn't too difficult for me to write, but as I mentioned, I don't usually have to try very hard to find something to be self-critical about. Fortunately today's post also comes fairly easily to me, and if you're taking part in this challenge, I hope it comes easily to you as well. I think it's so important for everyone to recognize their self worth, and knowing that this concept is something many people struggle with makes my heart hurt.

I suppose that since this post is all about love, it's fitting that one of the things I love most about myself is my ability to love. I give love freely and I tend to love deeply. I love life, I love my family, I love my friends, I love music, I love nature, I love laughing and (among other things) I really, really love people. My friends laugh at me because I'm often involved in conversations that go a little bit like this:

"Hey, so you know so and so, right?"
"Yes! I love her!"
"Well I ran into her with her sister the other day and..."
"Oh my goodness! I love her sister, too!"
"Uh, can we put all the love on hold for a minute so I can tell the story?"

I was chatting with a friend a couple months ago and during the conversation he asked if there was anyone I've ever met that I didn't like. My initial reaction was, "Of course there are people I don't like. Nobody likes everyone." But as I tried to think of specific people in my life that I dislike, I began to realize that somehow, somewhere along the lines, even when my first impression of someone is not positive, I generally end up liking them anyway. I told him, "I really think that there's something good, something to love, in just about everyone! Sometimes it just takes a while to find it."

An example:

Working at the credit union for six years gave me the opportunity to interact with and get to know a significant number of people within our little community. People are weird creatures anyway and when it comes to dealing with their money, that weirdness is magnified by about a thousand percent! When I first started working there, there were a lot of people I just plain didn't like. Some people were grumpy, some were rude, and some were just unpleasant to deal with in every way - from the look on their face to their attitude to their totally bizarre banking habits. There were people that I absolutely hated helping, but I did so with a smile because it was my job (which may have made me resent them even more).

But as time went on and I came to know these people on a more personal level, I came to realize that they weren't so unlovable after all. That grumpy old man who never had a clue what was going on in his checking account and frequently blamed the tellers for his mistakes? He eventually became a dear friend of mine and I remember crying the day I found out he'd passed away. That insane eccentric woman I simply couldn't stand to be around for the entire first year that I knew her? We ended up having many, many good conversations over the years and on more than one occasion she sent me a "get well soon" card when she heard I was in the hospital. And that older woman who always seemed so arrogant? She ended up being my home health nurse during a course of home IV's once and I came to realize that she actually has huge heart and is incredibly caring. I still have her personal phone number saved and she has assured me that it's okay to call her anytime I might have questions.

I learned that as I made an effort to tolerate the people I initially disliked, it led to a better understanding of each other and eventually paved the way to friendship. There are about a dozen other stories like this I could share, and these are just the people whose banking I helped with.

With a few (very few) exceptions, this is how things work with most people I meet. I won't pretend that I'm a saint who immediately sees the good in everyone and never has a bad thought about another human being. That's not the case at all. But it is true that once I get to know someone, I generally really like them. I'm incredibly interested in learning about people's life experiences, their beliefs, their differences and what makes them tick. And that's all it takes, really. Once I start to learn those kinds of things about a person, they've got a little spot in my heart to call their very own forever and ever. (Am I starting to sound a little crazy right now?)

Adam pointed out a few months ago that even if I've only met a person once or twice, I often refer to them as my "good friend." Before I could even try to deny it, I realized he was completely right. For reasons that I don't even understand, I'm able to connect with people easily but in a very real way. My sister left a comment in response to yesterday's post that read in part, "I wish I could make best friends with everyone in the whole world the way Jenny does."

I understand that not everybody is going to like me as much as I like them. There are a lot of qualities about me that can drive a person absolutely insane (just ask my husband). I don't expect everyone to be as enthusiastic about me as I am about, well, everything... but if it were entirely up to me, I'd really love to be best friends with everyone in the whole world. (Okay, I definitely heard the crazy that time.)

Some people believe that loving too much is a sign of weakness, but I strongly disagree. Though there have been times that I've been hurt because I've let someone in my heart and they weren't very kind to it, I believe that my life is exponentially better in so many ways because I'm willing to love regardless of the risk. I live life passionately, I love deeply and I wouldn't change it if I could.

So that's my thing for today. I love that I love so easily. Even when it makes me seem a little crazy and even when people make fun of me for it, I'll take my free-lovin' heart over a more conservative one any day of the week. Like Kasey (for my fellow Bachelor/Bachelorette fans) says, "It's my heart. Jump in. Stay a while."

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This post is part of the 30 Days of Truth challenge. 
For a list of all the prompts and corresponding posts, click here.
If you decide to participate, please link to your blog in the comments!

2 comments:

  1. I love this challenge Jenny!! I think we in our CF commmunity fit this mold. I tend to feel a lot of "love" for people because we know or I know how short life really is. If we see the good in everybody life will truly be great. There are many many people who focus on the negative aspect of people way to much.

    But I would agree I also refer to people as my "good friend" and I have only met them maybe twice!!

    It must be in our community to feel this way!

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  2. I love this! You will be totally surprised that this is just like me! I agree with John, I think our community as a greater appreciation for life giving us a better perspective to love more freely. Great post. I may join your truths :)

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