When someone shows you who they are – believe them.
I love this line. Maya Angelou said it to Oprah and she passed it along to me (Yes, Oprah and Maya and I are friends, if only in my mind.).
Of course I think of this line often when someone does me wrong. You know the times when once again your friend is late to a meeting and you think about how you can’t believe she is late. Why can’t you believe it? She is late every time! Or what about the friend who tells you every November that she wishes that her husband would get her a piece of jewelry for Christmas, but she never tells him that because she wants him to figure out what she wants. Why is she disappointed that she gets another sweater wrapped under the tree?
We have to realize that it is very difficult to get people to change. We have to accept them for what they show us. And, most importantly, we have to decide how we want to react to that person. Since we know that they probably will not change certain behaviors, we must decide how to deal with them – or if we no longer want to deal with them at all.
Now, I wouldn’t be working for Community Partners of Dallas if I didn’t believe that people can change bad behavior – but they have to want to change. Parents who once let drugs rule their lives can give them up (with a hell of a fight) and become good parents. Relatives can turn their own lives upside down and change their own living situations in order to take children out of the foster care system. Change can happen with anyone if they want it enough.
But back to our line: When someone shows you who they are – believe them.
My mom turns 76 this weekend and she shows me who she is every single day. I’m not saying she’s perfect (none of us are), but she’s the closest thing I’ve ever met. If you ever have the chance to get to know Cindrette, you’ll find out right away that she is smart as a whip, hilarious, curious about everything (especially about what people like to eat and how they got skinny), and honest. She’ll give you advice about your colon, your hairstyle, and shout hooray for the Texas Rangers – all in one breath.
I wish every kid in Dallas County CPS care could have had a mother like mine.