Posted in Lessons Learned

Wearing My Cool Shoes


I have little feet. I can buy the coolest shoes at 70% off. And I love it. These are my latest. A girl just needs a little sparkle sometimes. I showed them to my granddaughter who can hardly wait til she wears my size.

But this post isn’t about getting a great sale on shoes. There’s a saying.. Walk a mile in another’s shoes.

Well, I’ve learned over the years, that you should never tell another person what to do. There are several reasons, but one of them is because if they do what you tell them… they are still the ones who live with the outcome. Not you.

It’s very easy to see what another person should do in a given situation. It’s even simpler to tell them the answer. We open our mouth and the words flow forth like a flash flood. Answer given.. problem solved. If they would just do what I say.

If they just did what you say.. they would be living your life. Not theirs.
Another truth. If you were truly living your life, you wouldn’t have so much time to be busy in anyone else’s.

In counseling, we’re trained to listen to what we’re being told by the client. Sometimes people just need to vent. Sometimes they need validation or empathy. Sometimes they need a hug. But all the time.. they need to figure out their own answers. They already have the answers, they just can’t see them yet.
So together we look for all of the options in a situation. And we go through each option with them discussing the pros and cons. Until they determine what is best for them in this particular situation.

Every person makes choices every day, tons of them. And we live with the consequences of each one. Good or bad. Too many M&M’s… Didn’t each lunch… Stayed up too late? They all have consequences. But sometimes the consequences fill a bigger need, than any minor discomfort the choice might include.
Too many M&Ms for me would be about 4, because I get migraines from chocolate. For someone else too many might be a 2 pound bag. Maybe I didn’t each lunch because I had a big breakfast or because I’m fasting for a blood test. Maybe I stayed up too late watching my favorite movie or because my child was up sick in the night. My choice… my consequence.

Is it hard to watch someone else as they’re choosing what is best for their life? It certainly can be, if we’re too much in their business. My guess is that you wouldn’t want them making your decisions. Would they rather hear that you have faith in them, knowing they’ll make the right decision?

I challenge you to put on their shoes, just for a while. And consider why they might have made a decision different from the one you would have made. It’s called having compassion. Empathy. The world would be a better place if we all had some.
People have reasons for the choices and decisions makd. Just because you don’t understand those reasons, or haven’t taken the time to consider them.. doesn’t mean they aren’t valid.

So even though it’s snowy outside and my toes might get cold, I’m gonna wear my new shoes today. I feel like I wanna sparkle!


3 thoughts on “Wearing My Cool Shoes

  1. Hey! What’s wrong with everyone else living my life. I’m the center of my universe and could be the center of your’s too.

    All joking aside, you make an excellent point. We share our ups and downs, but ultimately we are each responsible for the choices we make. Nothing worse than a mother-in-law telling you how to cook, clean, or raise children, and whether or not we’re married, life is full of wannabe mothers-in-law.

    Put your shoes back on. Take a walk where you want, just keep your socks clean and your feet dry. And send me your left over M & Ms.

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