Brittany and I met these two wonderful ladies in the subway station in New York City recently.
When we met, we had an agenda. We were all trying to find our way to the 9/11 memorial. We ended up walking along a long underground corridor and riding the elevator upstairs together. They weren’t walking as fast as we wanted to, but there was something drawing us to be close to them.
They had the most beautiful accents and the kindest spirits.
I asked them where they were from. One said Scotland and the other Canada, but they sounded so much alike. They told us a little about their story.
They’d been friends when they were little girls in Scotland. Then at age 7, the one on the left, moved to Canada.
They somehow reunited over the internet and become best of friends.
They meet in different places around the world for fun little adventures now. There is clearly no agenda in their relationship, except to be there for each other. They were probably a little tired and frustrated that they’d been lost. I know we were.
But they were so content.
I was reminded over the weekend, of how often we have unspoken agendas in our relationships.
Not only is that a terrible recipe for relationship, it can only make us discontent. When we are constantly seeking for another person to meet our need, we miss seeing theirs. When we’re looking for them to fill a certain spot, act a certain way, or do a certain thing that fits the agenda we had in mind, we miss the opportunity to love them in the place they’re in.
I know I am so guilty of this.
It seems like everyone in my life fills a certain role in my mind. If they don’t do it well enough or fast enough, it can really ruffle my feathers. The checker at the grocery store, the teachers at the school, the customer service gal, the server at the restaurant, my neighbors, my co-workers, my family, my friends. . . they all play a role.
What if I stopped expecting so much from them?
What if I focused my mind and my heart on loving them? Simply connecting with them because we’re sharing a moment, sharing the same air.
What if I focused on building long-term relationships with people, that were inconvenient for me? You know, the ones outside of my everyday huddle of safety and convenience.
Of course, that’s a lot easier said than done.
But, I think it’s why we’re here.
I think that’s how you end up halfway across the world, riding the subway in New York, in your 70’s, with a friend you’ve known since you were 7.
Invest in people, with no agenda.
Love. Apologize. Forgive.
Rinse and repeat.
To more love,