I read this in a book before and I was struck by it. Ain't it true? I go through this a lot with Ruy. I tend to be critical of his actions (completely ignoring his intention) and to make matters worse I refuse to take accountability for my actions because I insist on justifying my actions with my intentions. Ack. Take what happened last Sunday for example:
Ruy: Where are your (prescription) glasses?
Liv: I forgot them.
Ruy: Again? (I misplaced them 3 months ago) You're a bad example to Andrea.
Ouch. My ears started ringing. I was upset. So many thoughts ran through my head. ""You are calling ME a bad example? You mean I'm a bad mom. Do you even know me?" I was snippy. I was hurt and I was ready to hurt him right back. Hurt people hurt people. In a chilly way I told him off. He was shocked because he didn't realize he said anything wrong. It took us 20 minutes to untangle the issue. Ruy was so surprised at how hurt I was he said "Why would I say that (you're a bad mom)? Am I the kind of person who will tear people down? I'm not like that! And how can I say that about you? You're such a great example cause you're a great mom. what I meant was that behavior of not being responsible with your things is the behavior we're currently teaching Andrea"
I kept quiet. I knew I overreacted. He did make a mistake in his phrasing (he could have said "Again? That's not a good example for Andrea") but then again I should have looked at the heart of this man and looked at his intention. This is an extremely nice guy who would sacrifice everything for me and my daughter...this is not the kind of guy who would attack me and my character.
I wonder how many issues I would have avoided in my life if I tried to focus on people's intentions?