Attention, compassion, and patience applied the right way can bring goodness back to any relationship worth preserving. Sometimes it takes help finding the “right way” and sticking with it! I was reminded of this this morning when my wife mentioned she’s saved the rather unusable brown sugar. The brown sugar in our pantry had become a hard, dry, lump. You’d have had to use an icepick to break it apart. Fortunately, a colleague of my wife suggested that she put a piece of bread in it to add moisture over night. It worked.

I’m a lot like that container of sugar. I get a bit cranky and rigid in my thinking, in my actions. And yet a little bit of kindness, an attentive ear, or a fresh idea makes me feel right again.

Do you find yourself to be like that, too?

Do you find that sometimes it just takes a fresh take and a little bit of softness to get the sugar back?

And what if you can’t get it from someone else? Can you make it for yourself? That’s one thing I’ve gotten rather good at over the years – finding my own ways to get back to feeling like myself again.

The other thing was that my wife didn’t just wave the piece of bread over top of the sugar and expect it to soften up. She put the bread in the container with it.

Sometimes when we try something new, we have to give it time and patience to make an effect. When someone I care for could use my attention, compassion, and patience, I spend time with them. I put them first and my own feelings or thoughts aside for a while. I sit with them and love them even if they are all hard and unsweet like that dried up container of sugar.

I can be that piece of bread when I need to be. It’s an honour to help people find themselves again. And, luckily, when I’m not quite myself, people do the same thing for me. Not necessarily the way I do it, but in the way they can and which works for them.

What person or situation in your life seems to have lost it’s sweetness or it’s magic? Do you find yourself thinking, “I’ve tried everything to make it good again”, when really you could use some new ideas?