Comparing how it is, to how it should be

Here in the land of Oz, it’s supposed to be getting cooler; it is autumn after all, and has been for nearly a month. The only problem is that it hasn’t been getting cooler at all. It’s actually been very hot.

Lately, when we’ve had 42 degree days (that’s about 107 F for all you northern hemisphere peeps) and the most common cry around our house was “It’s not supposed to be this hot!!” And that’s a fact, it shouldn’t be this hot at this time of year – but it is.

I think it feels worse because psychologically we were all geared up for it to get cooler. So how we ‘feel’ it, is more intense because “it’s not supposed to be like this!” When it’s the middle of summer and it’s 42 degrees, we just shrug and say “Well, it is summer!” We’re not surprised because our mindset is in summer mode.

And we do this with other areas of our lives, don’t we? When what should be happening is at odds with what is actually happening, we find it harder to cope with. I remember years ago talking to people older and wiser than me about a situation involving someone I love and saying “But they should be coping with it by now!” And the response that came back has always stayed with me, although I don’t always remember to live by it. “You have to deal with things/people as they are, not as you think they should be.”

We can’t change how those around us are living by telling them that they should be living differently. The only person we can change is ourselves. Whether we think people ‘should’ be over something, coping with a situation or showing progression in their thinking and growth, if they aren’t, they aren’t. And I have no business saying it must be otherwise.

Once again we find that if we focus on our own journey and are less concerned (in the right way) about where others are on their journey, we will have less time to pass judgement on those around us.

If we can accept that sometimes where people are is more important than where they ‘should’ be, we can truly begin to make a difference in other’s lives and grow ourselves.

8 thoughts on “Comparing how it is, to how it should be

  1. I feel the same way about our weather – it is spring and it is still cold, the trees bare. And yes on progression or healing. We must all do both on our own schedule.

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    • Indeed, and sometimes, I think we can be too hard on ourselves too; thinking we should be this, that or the other. Our schedule is our schedule and we need to accept that as much as anyone else x

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  2. Good point! I just finished a conversation with my daughter who made the same point.

    I was complaining that my son and his children didn’t acknowledge my texts or emails and she said “did you ask them to reply?” My response was “No, they should know. It’s just common courtesy to let someone know you’ve received the blah blah blah. I’m not a mind reader blah blah blah.”

    Her response, of course, was that they weren’t mind-readers either and if I wanted a response, I should let them know.

    So here I am judging them by how I think they should be, what I think they should know, and getting my nose out of joint because they aren’t meeting my expectations.

    In my mind, this isn’t how it should be, but this is how it is. I will accept that and move forward.

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  3. I have to smile at the idea of people somewhere waiting for the weather to cool off when in the northern U.S. people are pining for spring! Since I currently live in Central Florida, seasonal highs and lows are less dramatic.

    I’ve spoken often of my presumed expectations in regard to people in church. Although I know churches are made up of flawed human beings (like myself!), somewhere deep inside I find I hold people to a higher moral standard just because I know they go to church. Stupid, of course. Keeping focused on my own personal growth journey is a lot like eating healthily or exercising: it’s not once and done. It requires daily effort. 🙂

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    • So true Natine and I like your analogy with eating well or exercising. And I’ve been guilty of that too – just because people know the truth, doesn’t mean they are done learning.

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