Several days ago, I cleaned my bathroom mirrors and they looked pretty good, or so I thought — that is, until I STEPPED BACK. Once I did that, I was able to see the smudges, and realized that I needed to clean them again. This time, when I stepped back, the mirrors looked great.
Sometimes, we are so close to the situation, that we really can’t see the “big picture”, so we have to TAKE A STEP BACK.
In life, we go through many things — people getting on our nerves, finances, health issues, relationship concerns, etc. Some of us react immediately rather than TAKING A STEP BACK. I have found out that the older I get, I don’t always take the necessary STEP BACK, but have become more reactionary, particularly, when I’ve had the same conversation multiple times. Let’s just say that my patience has gotten a lot shorter (which can be both good and bad). It used to be when people did or said something I didn’t like, I would “politely” ignore them. Now, there are moments that I’m at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Rather than holding it in and seething about it for days, I let it out, and boy do I ever. My thoughts and feelings are splattered all over the place. Depending upon the situation, sometimes, I have to take a STEP BACK by taking the high road and apologizing, even if I’m not the one at fault. One of my favorite quotes is “It’s not what you say, but how you say it”. I said that to say this, I meant what I said, but there are times when my delivery needs some work.
When we take a STEP BACK, and analyze the situation, not only do we see things more clearly, but we feel so much better. I have found this method to be most liberating (that is, when I follow it). I want you to keep in mind that we will not always pass the test. However, we can certainly be a work in progress. Because I’m learning to STEP BACK, I’m passing some of my tests with check marks and even some check pluses instead of always getting big fat red zeroes. There have been times when I have actually shocked myself. 🙂
I’ve had to take a STEP BACK from relationships. I’ve had to take a STEP BACK from acquaintances that I thought were friends. I had to take a STEP BACK to allow my adult children to begin to understand what it is to be independent and not dependent. I’m still working on this one because it’s tough; however, if I don’t let go, they will never learn or grow up because I would have been instrumental in their growth being stunted. There are times when I have had to take a hundred STEPS BACK when someone cut me off in traffic or when they got over and didn’t drive the speed limit. Whew!
There are times when we should take a STEP BACK before allowing ourselves to become enthralled in other people’s affairs; rather than staying in our own lane, we cross the lines and crash into their lane. Everything is not our business nor should we force our “unwanted” thoughts and opinions on others. However, there are exceptions to this rule and we have to use wisdom and exercise good judgment. If you discern someone is hurting, it’s perfectly fine to ask them if they’re okay. You don’t want to see people drowning without throwing out the life line to them. However, it’s totally up to them if they want to share. They may open up or they may not. Whatever you do, don’t pressure them. Keep in mind that prayer can reach places that we can’t.
In life we are ever learning and ever-growing; therefore, don’t be too hard on yourself if you forget to TAKE A STEP BACK. After all, you are only human! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…