The party anthem lyrics “You’ll have to excuse me I’m not at my best” (Spirit of the West) give a very important truth for us to remember: People are rarely at their “best” because there are simply too many variables that get in the way. This song is more about overdrinking, which, to me, is like a person choosing to be sick: (person) “What do you want to do tonight?” (overdrinker fan) “I feel good, so let’s ruin that by making myself have symptoms of the flu. My toilet’s the best cuddle buddy!” Beyond overdrinking, there are many things that can also prevent us from being at our best. Quite often it’s the little things that affect us like being too hot or cold, hungry, cranky, over stimulated, a need to be burped, or maybe our diaper needs to be changed… sorry, I’ve been around babies lately, but that’s a good representation of how people are affected in practical ways. Add bigger things like past hurts, grief, pressure to perform, wanting to feel good enough, a desire for love that’s not met from a partner, family, or friend, and it’s easy to see why people can have crazy moments. The truth is being at our best is very difficult. Consider this bar graph:
If 10 is us at our best, there are many things that can prevent us from being at that level. For this list of why I’m not at my best I could’ve added things like hormones, stress, age, exhaustion, brain chemistry issues, grief, hopelessness, lack of purpose, feeling unloved or disrespected, having back pain, a cold, memory loss, fried brains from drug use, dealing with screaming kids all day, being around rude people, being stuck in traffic, too much guilt, and the list goes on and on. You can essentially summarize all this into 3 categories: it’s something in my life, someone in my life, the environment in my life, or combinations. Either way, lots of things can make us less than our best and lean more towards the crazy end. If 10 is us at our best, and 0 is at our worst/crazy:
- Where are you from 0-10?
- What practical things would help you be higher on this list?
- What 1 thing can you start doing now regularly? Another thing 2 weeks from now? A month from now? (It’s best to start with changing one thing at a time, so you don’t overwhelmed)
If there are so many potential reasons why we have crazy moments. I guess this leads to the question: What makes someone actually crazy? My basic answer is someone who has too many crazy moments. What are too many crazy moments? That depends on the person judging that. What constitutes a crazy moment? Again that depends on the person judging that. You’re welcome for the help… I like to do what I can. What makes someone crazy? Ask most husbands if their wife is crazy and he’ll say no… if she’s there. Otherwise, absolutely. Ask this so-called crazy person’s female friends if she’s crazy? Absolutely… not crazy… unless her husband drove her there, which means he’s even crazier for making her crazy. When it comes to crazy, there is rarely an easy answer because perspective plays such a huge part. In the end, if we think someone near us is crazy we need to be asking ourselves 3 things:
- Am I doing anything to drive the people around me crazy?
- Am I acting with enough self control so that those around me don’t think I’m crazy?
- Is there anything I can do to help myself and those around me be less crazy? (Sometimes the best answer for this is space).
Are you annoyed by how many question this post has? Do you want me to stop? Maybe I should? Yes, I know that last one’s not a question, but some people say statements with an inflection like a question, which drives me nuts, and I figured this was a good way to point that out in hopes that’ll make them stop? Regardless of your answer to these questions… the above 3 questions that are relevant to this post, we need to start looking at offering more patience for people around us (and ourselves) because they are likely not at their best. Am I saying be a pushover? Absolutely not, but we do need to start seeing beyond the crazy things some people (and ourselves) do and see if there’s anything else going on.
This week may you find ways to be more at your best? Like not making statements like a question?
Rev Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, Learning to love dumb people