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He's Still Bob.

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were having a conversation about someone we knew who had gone through some remarkable--positive--changes. When I asked if a difficult situation regarding this person was now resolved, my friend shrugged and said, "Well, I mean, he's still Bob.*"

Since that conversation, that phrase has repeated over and over in my head. Sometimes in the midst of a tragedy or life-altering event, people step up in ways that can blow you away. Sometimes, a person who has hurt you repeatedly reaches out in kindness. If you're anything like me (past me) you'll welcome that person right back into your life and heart thinking he or she has changed.

How's that work out? In my situation(s) it has worked out for shit. Because guess what: He's still Bob.

I give people second chances--and sometimes 3, 4, 5 .... chances--because of all the chances people have given me. I've damaged relationships and friendships. I've messed up with my husband and my kids and my friends. I've lost my temper and said mean things more times than I care to remember. Everyone messes up occasionally, but I have been guilty of holding myself to unreachable standards. I don't expect YOU to be perfect; I just expect me to be perfect. Getting better all the time.

Anyway, through my shortcomings, I've become an outstanding apologizer. And my tribe always forgives me, gives me grace and second chances and 3, 4, 5 ...

So I give people chances. But guess what? Not everyone has a place in my life. And not everyone has a place in yours. That doesn't mean someone is a bad person. It doesn't mean you and I are bad people either. Maybe you are just bad for each other. If someone brings out your worst side, then they shouldn't be part of your tribe.

My dad used to tell me: No one is all bad and no one is all good. True story. Damn, I miss my dad.  Good people are capable of doing really awful things, and awful people can sometimes do really good things. How you behave the majority of the time--especially when no one is watching--indicates your character.

Recently, thanks to Emily P. Freeman's wonderful podcast, "The Next Right Thing," I've been practicing "bringing peace with me into the chaos rather than trying to calm the chaos to find peace."

Occasionally I actually succeed. Yesterday, I didn't. As I made dinner and Peyton and Lily argued and fought and picked at each other, I couldn't pull them into my peace. I couldn't bring peace into their chaos. So I briefly lost my shit and brought a little more chaos to an already chaotic situation, and then I put my ear buds in and let Shauna Niequist pull me into her peace.

Sometimes, someone will read my blog and say, "I needed that; thank you." You're welcome. Other times, I think I'm writing to my future self. Maybe in five years, when I'm about to give someone a seventh chance to break my heart, this blog will pop up in my memories and warn me: He's still Bob.


Comments

  1. I have some bob’s. I’m actively working on hr losing your shit thing on my family and well... it’s not working out real well!! Love you girl and yes I needed that.

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