Monday, November 07, 2005

Going Home 3

There’s something I forgot to talk about in my last post. I said that sometimes people don’t see the change in us when we go home or they don’t welcome it. I forgot to talk about the other side of the coin.

How often do we go home and not see that the ones who stayed have changed and grown as well? How often do we assume they will react and act the way they always did before? There is power in going to see old friends or family and being open to the possibility that they have changed and will act/react differently with us now.

I’ll grant you that sometimes they have not changed. And if the person hurt us in the past, it’s wise to be prepared to walk away if it should happen again. Even forgiveness does NOT mean we must let the person hurt us all over again!

But if we live our lives afraid or if we live our lives not seeing changes that take place in others, we can cheat ourselves of friendships or family connections that could enrich our lives. Even if they have not changed, it is possible that the person we thought we used to see is not really the person they are or were.

So I ask you to look at the people around you, not just when you go home but every day, and be open to the possibility that they are growing and changing. Be open to the possibility that there is a side to that person which—good or bad—you have not noticed before. One of the greatest gifts we can give those we care about is permission and even encouragement to grow and explore the possibilities of who they are meant to be.