I have a friend who is the life of the party and everyone laughs at her stories…yet she is always worried about what people think of her.

I have a daughter who is not scared of a thing but chooses to not play with children other than her siblings.

I have a brilliant sister who worries and frets over a college class assignment–sure she doesn’t understand or won’t do well–yet makes straight A’s.

Then there is my smart, strong, successful husband who hates to make a hair appointment or call the dentist receptionist.

(My apologies for the tattle telling!)

How often I say, “I just don’t understand!”–and, it’s true–I don’t. But do I really need to understand?

When my husband and I had been married for about five years we accepted a job where we worked as a team for an organization. This organization required the staff to attend  a one-day workshop about personalities called “Colors”.   I hate to simplify a full day’s workshop in to a sentence, but the Golds are the organized people, the Blues are the people-people, the Oranges are the laid-back ones, and the Greens are the thinkers. We each figured out which “color” we were and went to a corner of the room with like-colored people. We made lists of things we collectively liked and disliked. It was interesting to me how the Blues (that’s me) and the Golds could have exchanged lists: what the Golds liked, we disliked and vice versa.

What really blew this Blue away, though, was when I searched the room for my husband and found him all alone in a corner: the only Green. My husband is a thinker. He has big ideas. He can see what is wrong in a situation when no one else can. Fifty percent of the population is made up of Golds. Only three percent of the population is Green (What’s that song Kermit the Frog sings? “It’s Tough to be Green”).

And, in that moment, a light bulb went off over my head. No wonder he doesn’t make a lick of sense to me! 🙂 I don’t understand…I’ll never understand…and, what a comforting realization, I don’t have to understand.   The people in my life: their thoughts are different than mine. Their perceptions are different than mine. Their choices are different than mine. All I have to do is accept the difference, and, in that acceptance, I am free to love.

More from Beliefnet and our partners