January 18, 2016
You’ve probably heard or even used the phrase “no matter how flat you make the pancake, it still has two sides.” This is to help us understand someone else’s point of view after an event or encounter had us in opposition or dissolution with them. That someone will always occupy a place of importance in our lives, try as we may to rewrite our history or erase them altogether. How we view their “importance” as we move forward allows us to grow and learn.
That “they-done-me-wrong” pancake of lost jobs, broken marriages or relationships and soured financial partnerships probably has two sides even if the validation of our “victim” mindset feels good at first. In any case, sometimes we just need to make a new pancake. Staying in the place of “yeah, but…” gives us excuses for delaying our evolution and development and prevents shifting our experience from the “victim” column to that of “student.”
Seeing both sides might help us understand the other person better, but the real value is in understanding ourselves. This is how we learn, develop humility and empathy, practice resilience, and become a compassionate refuge for ourselves and others. We learn a lot from our “failures” and those learning opportunities come in the form of people and events and circumstances, even the ones that sour into moldy pancakes.
Retrospection and reflection are important as we walk through our lives. Looking back, we can see stumbling blocks or we can see stepping stones. The choice is always ours.