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It Is As Far As They Have Evolved

On a call for one of my business coaching sessions, I really needed to be talked off a ledge. I had an employee quit via text message. I mean, who does that right? I felt like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City when she got broken up with by a post-It note. I was reeling in my emotions. I was pissed that she did not have the audacity to talk to me in person. I was shocked as I had no idea the departure was even coming. And I made up every story in my head that related to how I must have done something wrong to make her want to leave my salon. I was at war with myself in my braid all while I was hot with anger and, well, sad.

However, my amazing business coach, Amy Carter of Empowering You Consulting, replied simply with:

“It is as far as they have evolved.”

She stated it as simple as that and in the calmest tone. Period.

This simple reply hit more chords than one for me. It is only a few short words but to me, they packed one hefty punch. I was just wowed by how my mind and body responded after she said the phrase and in the tone that she said it. I got goosebumps and my mind raced as I thought of every way I could insert this phase into my daily life.

After that under-twenty-something employee quits via a text message,

Insert- “It is as far as they have evolved.”

After my children make me want to hurl myself off a bridge for not listening to me for the one hundredth time,

Insert- “It is as far as they have evolved.”

After my family avoids me after setting boundaries to protect my own wellbeing,

Insert- “It is as far as they have evolved.”

After my ass takes a swim in toilet water since my significant other cannot seem to learn to put the toilet seat down,

Insert- “It is as far as they have evolved.”

People tend to make the best decision they can at the time they are given it. Despite unknowing all the outcomes and/or ramifications, at the time a decision needs to be made, people make the best decision they can and know how to do. Seriously, it is because this is as far as they have evolved.

Now, this phrase isn’t to be used to puff your chest up and act as if you are better than those. We are forever evolving and changing beings, and at some point or another, they too may look at you and say these exact same words.

Listen, I know you and I are on this never-ending path of growth and development and self-evolution. I know because I am writing this blog and here you are, reading it. We have come leaps and bounds from where we were, but we still have room to grow and we will make decisions that are questioned by others. We will all do this until the end of time. We are beautifully flawed human beings. We are not above anyone else as we take our path, we are simply growing alongside one another.

This phrase’s purpose is to show grace. Grace can mean mercy or pardon, reprieve, or a disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, compassion, or leniency. Grace takes anger, resentment, confusion, and bitterness out of the equation. We are more easily able to let go of the negative emotions that may come from another’s decision. We can separate the person from the behavior.

First things first, we must understand that people are not their behaviors. My significant other is not labeled lazy or a “dickhead” for the mere fact that he continuously leaves the toilet seat up. My children are not selfish little twats because they just cannot get it together and not make me lose my ever-loving mind. Clearly, none of them have evolved to change their behaviors. My significant had spent many of years living the bachelor life. The muscle memory to gently push the seat down has not been built. My kids, well, their frontal lobes are not even developed. My family isn’t made up of hateful people. Someone setting boundaries is new to them. They have not grasped the concept quite yet. (But that is another story for another time.)

My ex-employee had never had a job before me let alone quit a job before prior to leaving my salon. And did I mention she was not even twenty-years old yet? Can I label her stupid or rude? No. She was a lovely human being who made everyone laugh and I was devastated that she was leaving us. She had yet to evolve knowing that face-to-face conversations showed respect and courtesy., that it was a more professional way of handling the exit. She had also yet to evolve in having the courage to do so. I’m a scary boss-lady, remember?

Behavior is not who we are. Behavior is what we do. Our decisions are the best we can make in a single moment. We are evolving.

Giving grace to another person in the thick of it can be incredibly hard and at times, painful. However, this phrase, so beautifully said to me, makes it less complicated and harrowing. In showing them grace, you are allowing yourself to exhibit them kindness even if you don’t think they deserve in the heat of the moment. Can I guess that we would appreciate being extended the same courtesy?

It is your choice to act positively towards any given situation. Put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand their intention or lack thereof or what they are going through themselves in that moment.

Grace means that all your (and their) mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame -Brene Brown

Try it. Think of someone whose decision has made you angry. Now say this phrase:

“It is as far as they have evolved.”

Do you feel less angry? Do you feel as if you can still love them despite their behavior in this particular circumstance? Are you more able to show them grace?

Can you show yourself some?

Like I said, I can stew in the negative feelings with the best of them. I can shout out some not-so-nice words when I am heated with anger. When I feel as if I am wronged, I can easily bitch up a storm. Fuck my evolution.

But, what I have tried to do so I too do not get judged by my behavior and so can separate my own self from my own behavior is allow myself to feel all the feels for 24 hours. I allow myself to feel mad or sad. I sit with my emotions. But, that is, for only 24 hours.

So feel those feels. Be angry. Be sad. Then show yourself some grace. Forgive yourself for not being that evolved-better-version-of-yourself. It’s okay. And then, go show them some grace as well.

Remember that we are all forever evolving- growing simultaneously together. Trust me, the race personal growth and development does not have a finish line. Each of us try and do our best, make the best decisions we can, and to evolve further. We are all just at different mile markers.

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