One of the toilets leaked at The Center, some of the floor rotted and I had to replace all the bad wood. When I got into it, I discovered not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 layers of previous flooring. (The house is almost 90 years old).
The funniest thing was what I found between those floors: Wires laid down right between two layers; nails, screws and even some bolts put in to secure the previous floor before putting down a new floor, and stuff like that. It was a perfect set-up for being upset as I tried to take it apart. I especially had to figure out which wires still mattered (I accidently cut through 3 - you generally expect wires to be between joists, not between flooring).
Practicing the rest that works not only helped me laugh but appreciate the efforts of others where I previously might have criticized them. There were a couple of times when I was like, “Why did they do that?” but then when I sat with it I realized, “Oh, I might have done the same thing (before we knew better about fire danger and wires under flooring, for instance). It probably saved them a lot of time and effort.” Understanding is so much better than a condemning spirit. If we’re moving with a critical spirit, we often don’t get to understanding or empathy.
It made me think about previous generations and how they handled things - how we all walk on foundations laid by others. Their choices may not have been ours, or who knows, if we'd been in their shoes and cultural setting, we might have made similar choices. Regardless, understanding, empathizing, and if needed, forgiving are so much better than condemning. We don't have to agree with what others did to put ourselves in the best position to create something good now. Laughing my way through the project was so much better than getting mad (especially as understanding and empathy made it obvious that getting mad was not even really warranted on my part, let alone wise).
More power to you in pausing enough to put yourself in other’s shoes. It often helps a lot. It can save a lot of wasted energy.
Thanks for journeying together. I hope that you have a wonderful day!
(P.S. The next series on the rest that works starts October 5th. I hope that you can come! Here are the details: http://www.therestthatworks.com/events-calendar.html)