our true characters

edited 10 

i remember my teacher saying once how we tend to treat those who are closest to us worse than treating friends or even strangers.
she gave the example of getting upset at your child and putting them in time-out or giving them a spanking.
but if one of their friends was over and they did the same thing, you would {probably} never think of treating the friend that way.

when she said this i was pretty surprised.
it is very true that this does happen but i never really realized it until she actually said it out loud.
and even after she said it, i was shocked for a few days but then kind of forgot about it.
until something my friend said made me remember that lesson.

my friend said, “We show our true character with our [loved ones]. How we act and what we talk about in the safety of our relationship reflects more of who we really are than how we act around others.”

maybe this sounds obvious.
but for me it really made me think.

we were talking about this in the context of gossiping and talking about others.
yes, we can say we don’t gossip when we are with our friends, but maybe we talk bad about others to our spouses?
in a way isn’t that worse because when we think no one is looking/listening we feel it’s okay to still be rude/obnoxious/inconsiderate?

but taking this to another level, how much do we say/think we are
compassionate,
kind,
charitable,
friendly,
thoughtful,
patient, etc.
but then don’t actually show those qualities to the ones who are closest to us?

we may be really kind to our neighbors or to strangers who need help at the store, giving them the benefit of the doubt, but how often do we give our own spouses the benefit of the doubt?
or try to be more patient and be slow to anger with our children when they don’t listen?
if our neighbors didn’t do the dishes, would we get upset at them for it?
or understand that they have a lot going on and just didn’t have a chance to do them yet?

i think we can easily justify this by saying,
“Well, we know our children/spouses/family and expect more out of them.”

while this may be true, since we are the ones that know our family the best shouldn’t we also know when they need our love the most?
if we believe some of our best qualities are ones of love, kindness, and compassion, shouldn’t we be showing those qualities more to the people we love most?

this idea that our true character is made known to our families through our every day actions has really stuck with me.
i know that i have A LOT to work on!!
but i’m grateful i have a safe haven within my relationship with my husband that we can work on becoming better people together.

9 comments:

Elisha(: said...

what a beautiful post!!! I love that picture!!

x.

Kaili Clark said...

I really enjoyed this post. It was entirely true. I really needed this. :)
Thank you!

:: ashley :: said...

this was a great post, and i totally agree. I always am trying to stay in check and treat everyone nicely!

dusanabotswana said...

So so true and always an important reminder. I realized this a long long time ago too and kind of just though "yep..." and didn't take action. This year treating my loved ones kinder was at the top of my resolutions but still something I really need to work on, although I'm w/ you on feeling so fortunate w/ sweet hubs (& my sweet my : ) thanks for sharing this!
http://dusanabotswana.com/

Kate said...

Wow! That sure is a good motivator this morning!

Sue said...

I love this post Megan. Our true character is what matters most. So beautiful.

Kylie said...

It seems like this reminder always comes at the best moments...and I always need to re-commit to being better. This is such a powerful principle, and one that I feel strongly about. In fact, I wrote a post very similar to this one on my blog a couple months ago. (Normally I don't leave links to my own blog, but I thought you might be interested: http://kylielovestj.blogspot.com/2012/02/theres-no-place-like-home.html)

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

Yep, guilty. I know I am harder on my husband than I would be on someone else... I'm even harder on my niece and nephew that I see all the time versus the ones that live far away. I guess it is because you see them/are with them so often you let your guard down more. Definitely something to work on!

Erendira Abbey said...

Wow amazing post.. really made me think. Thank you