Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Squawky Bird

For the last two weeks when we pulled up into the parking lot at church and there was this bird standing on the river rocks that lined the parking lot.  The bird looked like it was about to attack us.  It was squawking and ruffling up her feathers and I’m going to admit she was pretty scary.  After before and after church both days that bird just had it out for us. When we went to leave one of my daughters threw a rock at the bird because she was scared.  She thought that the bird was going to attack us and she thought the bird was being mean but after looking a little closer we saw that in the rocks there were some eggs that were the exact same color as the rocks and she had her nest right next to the spot where we usually park. After realizing this my daughter felt really bad. My kids have been fighting a lot lately and really just saying, “She's mean...” It made me think of this squawky bird and how she was misunderstood and how she was acting “mean” only to protect something.  What I want my girls to understand is that sometimes people my be acting out only because they are feeling threatened, or they feel that someone they love is being threatened, or they do not feel loved or accepted. One of my daughters was upset and said she was "mean." My kids have been using that word like crazy! Argh it is now a bad word in our home! Anyway I explained to her that she wasn't mean but just a "squawky bird" who was being misunderstood.

 Not only did it make me contemplate my girls relationships but it made me contemplate myself and my reactions as well as others reactions towards me.  When someone is acting out towards me I need to be slow to judge and slow to be offended because it is most likely not personal.  Also, it is most likely no issue on my part but it is usually something the other person struggles with. It is more important to look deeper and smarter than it is to retaliate.  I just read an article about a study saying that peoples addictions are driven by a lack of being loved and having a community and feeling apart of a community and having a healthy and safe environment.  Basically loneliness.  In today’s society there is a lot of loneliness and we need to reach out to one another and lift each other up even if they are being a squawky bird.  The more we love the more changes we can see.  However, the other thing to remember is that even if we choose to love and to understand others they may never change.  They may always "squawk" at us.  The other thing that I love about the squawky bird is that even if I change my behavior towards someone there is no guarantee that they will change their reactions towards me.  I honestly believe that is is possible to repair hurt, to reclaim love, and break down barriers. There simply is just nothing you can do sometimes.  This bird will probably squawk at us next week too.  Realizing this only helps build realistic expectations.  I do not think it is necessary to change sometimes except our expectations.

Lessons in progress:

Don't be too quick to judge.

Recognize our intentions and motives and easily forgive ourselves.

Change anger to love and see if the squawky bird stops squawking.

I won't always change others by changing myself but I will change myself and therefore bring more peace.

Try not to squawk when I'm misunderstood and just realize that unless I've helped someone understand my side they will not automatically be understanding.