When my daughter was about 4 or 5 her car seat was strapped behind the driver side. I used to reach my hand behind me and hold her hand while I drove. She would ablige each time for a few minutes, (sometimes longer) and then eventually let go. This process would repeat multiple times throughout whatever drive we were on.
I always liked holding her hand, I guess it made me feel more connected to her – so I always wanted to hold her hand for longer. Many times when she let go of my hand, I would feel a little sad. I would think: “Why doesn’t she want to hold my hand anymore?” OR ” Is it that much of a big deal…it’s not hard to hold my hand, is it?”
I felt like I was probably the one who was more uncomfortable reaching my hand back that far.
I would start telling myself all kinds of BS stories…
(We really can let our minds go to some crazy places sometimes, can’t we? I know I can.)
One day on a drive home, while holding her hand, I turned all the way around in the seat to look at her.
What I saw, changed my perception of the whole situation.
In order for her to hold my hand, she had to really stretch herself – and in doing so – had to completely fold herself in half leaning forward to reach my hand. My hand wasn’t as close to her as I had thought it was all of those times. She had to do WAY more than just put her hand in mine.
She, was doing far more work than I was.
The whole time I thought I was the one stretching for her, when in reality, she was reaching for me.
My perception of the situation wasn’t only wrong…..it was completely backwards.
The lesson I took here is this:
Many times people are trying harder than you think.
We just don’t know – or understand – their struggle….because we aren’t always there to see it.
We may have a story we are telling ourselves about a situation that isn’t correct – or worse – completely opposite of the truth.
Let’s all judge a little less, and give others some grace.
The same grace we would all individually love to be shown.