Affability is the virtue of maturity and not of youth. It requires the discipline and strength of character to be even-keeled in one’s demeanor, regardless of how one is feeling. It is that rare species of charity, the heroic strength that does not inflict one’s fluctuating moods on others.
As I get myself back into the habit of writing rambling pages in the morning to “get the junk out” (a.k.a Lisa Byrne), I found tucked into my journal a post reflecting on a Carmelite obituary. No one famous had died, and yet this brother had made a big, positive impact on the lives around him. Brother Antoine’s presence can be described in one word – welcome.
Certainly, I can be as affable as the next person when I’m out doing errands or talking on the phone to a customer service rep. That’s easy.
What I struggle with is my fluctuating moods at home, my children, and my husband. Everyone has a story. In my case, I’ve dealt with adrenal fatigue, post partum depression twice (which makes more me more susceptible to depression), an overdose of Tylenol in college, and more than 20 years with a family member’s addiction with limited support from family. My details are different from yours, but the result is the same – I’m a stressed out mom with a lot on my plate in every sense of the word. I don’t have to live this way, and certainly my kids would love to have a calm, affable mom who laughs and jokes.
Being affable is a choice. I have to make the choice every minute, every day. Some days, it’s easy. Some days, it’s really hard. Some days, I fail miserably.
What the obituary doesn’t tell us about is the choices Brother Antoine made every day in his journey to becoming an affable person. Did he struggle with the daily sacrifices? How many times did he fail until he began to understand why he failed and how to do better the next time?
How do you stay motivated and focused on being an even-keeled person?
Because I love meeting new people and sharing, this post is linked to:
Moms Against Manic Mondays, Show Off Your Stuff