Hello everyone and welcome to episode 94, where today we consider how self-awareness deepens our relationships. With just 6 double-digits left before we hit 100 episodes, we’re considering a real-life application of the ORA principle of deepening relationships.
The ORA principle re-stated
In a nutshell, the ORA principle is to Observe – Remember – Ask in our interactions with others to deepen our relationships with them. We’ve been talking about this in recent shows, beginning with episode 88, Get Them to Say “Thank you for Asking.” I’ll have a link to it in the show notes.
Today we’ll apply this principle to one in the most difficult relationship each of us has. The one relationship that offers the greatest rewards, at the same time the greatest challenges. No other relationship is even close.
What’s the relationship, you ask? Keep listening and I’ll tell you.
That relationship is our relationship with…..ourself!
Our Relationship with Ourself
How do we have a relationship with ourselves? It’s about what we think of our self, which I dare say is often inaccurate. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church at Rome that we read in the Bible says,
“I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves…” (12:2-3)
Now I know there are some who think less of themselves than they should, but my experience has shown these folks are in the minority. Instead, most of us are prone to do just the opposite, to think we are better than we really are, and to be less than honest in evaluating ourselves. Ever since the fall of man in the garden of Eden, this is the natural state of humanity. Paul warns us to rise above our natural inclination. He warns us because it’s a terribly unfulfilling way to live when we think we’re better than we really are; when we’re not honest with ourselves.
What does this have to do with the ORA principle of deepening our relationships? In this case, our relationship with ourself. It's all about how our self-awareness deepens our relationships with others.
I’ll explain in a story. My encounter with helping an older lady fill the tires on her van with air at Kwik Trip.
What I observed in her:
- Older lady with a 3-pronged cane.
- Big van. Pulled up just before I did at the free air pump for tires
- She was moving pretty slow, having difficulty getting the nozzle on the tire valve
- Car windows half-open in single degree temperatures
- My husband normally handles this, but he’s a double amputee”
- She thanked me, but not overly so
What I observed in me:
- In a hurry, had other things to do
- Frustrated when she pulled up to the air pump just seconds before I
did. Had I left just a little earlier I wouldn’t be waiting here.
- Impatient. As I watched her trying to fill her tires I knew I would be
waiting a long time to get my tires filled
- Irritation rising within me, like a clogged drain that was backing up into a sink
- As I was helping her, my hands were freezing and I was kneeling on the snowy slush to get air into her tires
- Concerned that a car that pulled up behind this lady’s van wouldn’t realize I was there ahead of him and that he’d drive ahead when the lady left to get air before me.
- On the surface, my behavior was commendable. I could imagine an article on the front page of our local newspaper with the headline “Good Samaritan Helps Disabled Senior Citizen, with Double-Amputee-Husband, Fill Air in Her Tires…Without Regard to His Own Safety in Frigid Cold, and Near Frost-Bite Conditions.” An above-the-fold article on page 1, on top of below-the-fold-story of how sales were going for Girl Scout Cookies.
- But on the inside, in my self-awareness, I observed that my attitude was self-centered, cranky, not deserving of even a “Thank You.”
I recalled the time a guy changed my wife Janet’s tire on Highway 30 on the way to Winona Lake with Jennifer and her friend from college. Was he an angel?
The time I changed a lady’s tire at the SuperAmerica gas station and how grateful she was for my help. How good I felt in helping her.
I was reminded how impatient I am with other people when they get in the way of what I want to accomplish. Customer service
people. Insurance billing. Tech Support questions about computer software.
I remember that my impatience is really a manifestation of pride, that my needs were more important than this lady needing air in her tires.
I needed to ask “Why am I like this? Why am I so impatient with people at times” I knew the answer is found in my baggage from the past. It’s my version of the Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.”
I need to ask God to change me. Because I need to repent. I need to be more patient. To be more humble. James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor”
I need to ask God for help just to let my irritation with this disabled lady go. The things I needed to get done will eventually get done, just not as fast as I would like.
Was this older lady an angel God was using to improve my character to humble me? I don’t know.
What I learned from this situation
I give too much meaning to the insignificant moments of life,
When my plans are thwarted by the insignificant moments of living in an imperfect world I am too easily frustrated.
I need to adapt better.
Self-awareness deepens our relationships.
So what does all this mean for YOU?
What action can you take in response to today’s program to be more self-aware in your relationships? Here are a few ideas:
When you are frustrated with yourself, practice the ORA principle of deepening your relationship with yourself. It will expose the good, the bad, and the ugly within you, as it did for me.
Observe – what’s going on within you and the people and circumstances around you. What’s really true about all this. Be honest with yourself
Remember – what you’ve learned about yourself in the past. Your predisposition. Your natural inclinations.
Ask – God for help. You’re too close to your own situation. You can’t figure it out on your own. No one can. This isn’t a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps situation.
If you forget everything else, here’s the main point I hope you remember from today’s episode.
Self-awareness deepens our relationships to the extent we act on that self-awareness in a Godly manner so that we can be the person God created us to be.
I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about today’s episode. Just send them to me in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I may share them in a future episode unless you say otherwise. You can also share your thoughts in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the show notes.
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I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, to both reflect and to act. So that you will find the joy God intends for you through your relationships. Because after all, You Were Made for This.
Well, that’s all for today. See you next week. Goodbye for now.
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