I have tried to think of the single most important thing I want my children to learn from me. The single most important thing I want my husband to admire in me. The single most important thing my friends respect in me. The single hardest thing I will ever try to conquer. The single hardest lesson for me, because I don't think it truly is ever completely accomplished, yet must be practiced and demonstrated constantly.
We recently had family over for dinner, (yes you will understand how this fits in soon). It was family that I have struggled having relationships with, some for a few years, some for a few decades. We also had some of their friends over at the same time - nothing like added challenge right! This all following one of the most difficult weeks I have ever experienced in my career, both emotionally and psychologically. It was during this dinner that someone said to me, "I don't know how you do it, I just don't have the patience". To which my reply was, "don't be fooled, I'm not very patient". For me it's not about patience, but about acceptance.
If I can, everyday try to understand that no one is exactly who they portray. That no one is someone you think you can make them out to be. That no one is innately hurtful, mean, or damage seeking, I have succeeded. It was that difficult patient the other day, the one escorted off the property by security, that slapped me in the face with acceptance. It was that physician that was repeated verbally demeaning, that reminded me of acceptance. It was that family member who while visiting from afar again showed their true colors, that reminded me I still need to practice. That acceptance does not come easily, it does not come quickly, and it certainly only comes with a lot, I mean a lot, of practice.
I hope someday that my children, my husband, my friends, my family will, when placed in difficulty, will be able to smile knowing that things are alright just the way they are. That life isn't fair, that people aren't all kind, nor all mean, that bad things don't "pick" people, but that things are simply the way they are. That life is full of ups and downs, niceities and not such grand things, and that is what makes it truly wonderful. For now, I am content practicing.