Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Once You Get to Know Them

Weeds are flowers too,
once you get to know them.
A. A. Milne

You know the weeds in our lives...those people or events that just seem to cause trouble and won't go away? Well, I believe they are in our lives for a reason. Those thorny people and occurrences are there to teach us a lesson, and if we don't learn our lesson the first time around, those kinds of people and events keep popping into our lives for our own good...so we can learn and move to a higher level of being human. So, actually, with a very small paradigm and attitude shift, we realize that Winnie the Pooh was absolutely right...weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. They are gifts from a higher being who is trying to teach us something.

This past weekend I had quite the weed sprout up in my life that I unknowingly sowed myself. I made a huge mistake and it involved a lot of tears and a lot of beating myself up on the inside before the grace and kindness of the person I wronged set me free and taught me that I need to forgive myself. 

Many of you may not know that in the past months I have given up real estate photography and have slowed down posting on this blog, slowly stopped doing so much art, and haven't been very visible lately. The truth behind that is I have not been well again and I don't have the health, heart, or energy to pick up my camera, stay up late to practice art, or to run a business. I have cut everything out of my life, pretty much, except homeschooling my children and doing things with my family due to health reasons. Whatever energy I have I want to save for those two most important things. 

So, about 10 days ago I had a request to shoot a sport's team during a game at Ripken Stadium complex. I was so excited because I love sports action photography, so ignoring the latest condition of my health, I said yes. I knew WAY in the back of my mind that it was a long shot that I would be physically able to do this job, but despite hearing the whisper of warning, I ignored it and told this friend/client, yes.  Yes, I would shoot this game.  In my head I had convinced myself that if I rested all week I would be able to do the job. Dates and times were set and I was locked in. 

This weekend, as I was struggling to even walk the distance of my driveway and back, I realized what a horrible mistake I made in booking this job. There was no way I would be able to do this job in a manner that I would be proud of. There was no way I could be out on a sports field carrying a camera and lens that weighs upwards of 15lbs. when I could barely walk my driveway and back. In addition to ongoing Lyme related treatment, I had a recent fall that injured my hand (on which I will have surgery Thursday) and caused a previous painful shoulder to become frozen. What was I thinking?  I thought resting for a week would let me gain all of that back enough to do this shoot? I had lost my mind. 

So, I decided the best thing to do was explain to the client that I had actually lied to myself and him that I would be able to do this job. I had to come clean. I wrote a very painfully embarrassing email to him explaining what I did and what my current medical condition was and asked for forgiveness. I felt terrible for putting him in a bad spot with this team and couldn't forgive myself for being so stupid and short sighted as to believe I could do this. I was sure he wouldn't, shouldn't, and couldn't forgive me because I threw him under the bus. I cried and cried and cried. Not only in anger that I couldn't fulfill my promise, but in humiliation that I had let him down.

Until...until I got his email back. It simply stated:

"...don't feel bad. I completely understand. I'm so sorry you're going through this. If you need anything please don't hesitate to reach out to (us). But don't feel bad, we need you feeling better."

And then I cried all over again in thankfulness of what a wonderful friend he was. Treating someone with chronic illness with such grace, kindness, and understanding means more than you will ever know unless you too suffer from a chronic condition. Once I got his email, I had to make myself forgive myself and stop feeling like a bad person. I made a mistake. I learned my lesson. I won't commit to anything from now on without first being sure I can follow through. No more lying to myself about my condition.

So, this weed that I planted myself turned into a flower right in front of my eyes. I learned two important lessons...don't commit to things you won't be able to fulfill; and most importantly...treat yourself with the kindness, grace, and forgiveness that others show to you.


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