Saturday, January 21, 2017

Out of Nowhere: When Life Surprises Us But Really Shouldn't

I have often talked about how different Mr. Butler and I are.  We are still - after 10 1/2 years of marriage and a couple years more of friendship- finding ways we approach life drastically different. The Color Code is one of those personality profile methods that can help you understand yourself and others and this past year revisited what it says about us.  Mr. Butler is primarily a Red and I'm primarily a Blue - none of which is entirely a surprise.  What did strike me the other day was this chart that I ran across explained our struggles beautifully.  We are uncomfortable opposites who both tend to be controlling.  That ought to work well, huh? :)
I've mentioned before about how a year after Miss Z was born, my body pretty much collapsed in on itself and I spent the next 2 years having to build it back up with the most intentional living I'd ever done.  At the time, it felt like it came out of nowhere but the facts seemed to speak for themselves. The fall that I got pregnant with Miss Z, Mr. Butler went back to school for his master's degree in addition to his full-time job.  J was 2-3 years old, I was teaching piano regularly, and Mr. Butler's schedule meant he was usually away in the evenings 2-3 nights a week plus study time.  Once she was born things didn't slow down because I added another human being to the mix (which included nursing and lost sleep) and he didn't graduate until the time I collapsed.  The timing was poetic and ridiculous all at the same time.  The physical breakdown seemed random and unexpected, but the truth is that a body (my super sensitive body) could only take so much.

Sometimes when things happen in our life we are genuinely surprised.  We weren't expecting it and it just doesn't feel like it should be so.  This is often a pivotal moment.  The "it's not fair" routine could be bounding through the heart which leads to more unbridled emotion that likely won't help much.  The other direction involves asking important questions (like 'What circumstances could bring this about?') and be open to the possibility that our choices created this to some extent.  Mr. Butler and I didn't magically morph personalities after marriage.  We were always very different.  My body didn't just explode because it felt like it.  I had pushed it far too hard for far too long.  There are a lot of political opinions and discussions flying around that too easily end in horror at this or that opinion.  If you find yourself actually in a real conversation (and facebook doesn't usually count because people can't help but be ridiculous it seems!) about all of these things, take some time to ask questions like "What circumstances brought you to feel this way?"  Opinions and realities may not change from this, but relationships sure could be enhanced from a little more understanding.  Polarizing what is already polarized doesn't give us much.  Connecting the dots of how a person comes to embrace opposing ideals could give us quite a bit.

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