I’ve always had an strong awareness of my inner voice (God) and I pay attention when spoken to. I rarely ever question or ignore what I’m being told. Last night I was reminded to be calm and patient, two traits that I’m not always that great at being, as I prepared for an interaction with my apartment maintenance tech over an issue that arises time and time again. I chose, as I always do, to listen to the voice and I regained control over my emotions just before his arrival.
Keep in mind that when I’m spoken to, I may not always learn the reason behind what I’m told. It’s a toss up as to whether I’ll know anything more than what I needed to do/not do, say/not say etc. This is nothing new to me so I’m fine whether I learn the reason or not. So…
Once my maintenance man arrived and fixed the issue for which he’d been called to my home, he and I began speaking on a personal level. He and I have never done this before and I immediately realized this was the reason that I needed to be patient and calm with him.
He’s originally from Puerto Rico. His entire family still lives on the island and he’d just gotten photos of what his hometown looks like after hurricane Maria had come through. Because he and I had never spoken about our personal lives I didn’t know that he was from PR. Because I didn’t know this about him, I wouldn’t have thought to ask him about it. He told me that his mom just so happened to be on vacation on the US mainland to visit him and that he’d convinced her to stay here longer so that she wasn’t on the island when the storm came. She was never in danger but the rest of his family was still in PR. Based on the photos that he showed me, his hometown must have been directly hit. I couldn’t imagine being in his shoes; so far from home, knowing his family had been affected, seeing the photos of the area they all live, not knowing how all of them were doing afterwards, and feeling helpless to do anything for them. This is just his most recent burdens though, his personal burdens. If you’ve read my blog, you know that we were just hit directly by hurricane Irma here in Southwest Florida. We’ve been dealing with our own storm devastation locally too. As an apartment complex maintenance man, he’s been burdened with the storm-related issues of every resident who lives in our complex + any issues he may have in his own home because of our storm. On just what I know, this man hasn’t caught a break in at least a month.
And I’m reminded of this quote…
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
-Wendy Mass, The Candymakers
I know now that my call to be patient was because he’s already heavily burdened. My issue is small in comparison to what he’s been dealing with. My attitude, good or bad, would affect him in some way. I needed to be told to calm down so that my attitude didn’t add to his burden. I needed to be told to calm down so that my empathetic nature would be more apparent and he’d feel like he could unburden some of his worries by sharing his story with someone. I listened to the advice I’d been given and I was able to ease his burden, if only a little bit, if only for a fleeting moment. For him and for me, I’m glad that I listened to the inner voice.
Now that I’ve shared my story, I want to hear about times you’ve been spoken to. Did you listen? Did you ignore it? How did everything turn out after? Share your story in the comments I’d love to hear it!