For an Honest Self-Assessment Ask Someone Else
I have afflicted myself with many self-assessments over the years in just about every facet of my life. I think I have eared the right to do so, I mean who knows me better than me. And this is a true statement in a sense because there are three ways to see yourself. Through God’s eyes, through your own eyes and through the eyes of others.
As I am approaching the 7th anniversary of my son’s suicide I was curious how much his death changed me, good or bad. So I did something that was out of character. I asked someone else, my wife. With over 30 years of being together no one knows me better because there is the public me and the private me. She knows both of me’s.
So I went about plotting the perfect time and place to ask her and chose our short ride when I drive her to work everyday. It’s perfect because I have her undivided attention and more importantly the drive is long enough for a good assessment but not too long as to allow any ‘hubby’ bashing. Not that she would do that but I wasn’t taking any chances.
“Honey, can I ask you something? And I am looking for an honest assessment if myself.”
“Have I changed since Aaron’s death? And if so how?”
Now since she wasn’t expecting this question I was sure she would take some time to think about it.
“You’re less judgemental.” She said without any hesitation.
There you have it. I opened the floodgates. The message became clear as she honestly spoke of before and after. I was a mini dictator, not so much with outsiders and friends but within my own kingdom, my wife and children. It was an eye opener, not that I didn’t know these things but in my own self assessments I was able to sweep some of these things under the carpet. But she was so open and honest with me. I had not been an easy person to live with. I was unapproachable. My eyes were open to things to truths about me that I would have been defensive about but before I could defend myself she told me the good that has come out of our tragedy.
Losing Aaron was the most difficult thing in my life I had to face and although it took some time it made you a better person, she assured me. I became less judgemental, sweeter, more understanding of others sufferings and shortcomings and someone who is easier to be around from our families perspective.
Whew, the ride into town seemed longer than usual but when my dear wife got out of the car she kissed me on the forehead and said, we have both changed and most of it is for good. I love you.
This morning before writing this I read a few verses from Psalms that spoke to me.
” Before I was afflicted I went astray but now have I kept thy word. It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I might learn thy statutes (God’s ways). Psalm 119:67 & 71.
God wants to bring out the best in us and He will use everything at his disposal to make that happen. I had got that honest assessment from someone who apparently knows me better than me.