Here’s something to ponder. Maybe it’s not someone’s words that are so offensive but rather our interpretation of the words. This could clear up some serious misunderstanding and conflict. If we don’t like someone, we are probably more apt to interpret their words in a negative, unflattering way. Just a thought.
Two people can hear the same words but understand them to mean something entirely different. Just last night I told my son to turn the heat down to 71 degrees and he set the air conditioner to 71. He heard something different than what I said. No ones really at fault, our minds just work different ways. Remember that next time you get yourself crazy over someone’s words.
The way I see it, we have a choice. We make the decision to look for the good in someone or we examine someone with a microscope to broadcast the bad.
I wrote a post a few weeks ago about a conversation I had with my son. I was frustrated with him and I spent the whole ride home from school telling him all the ways he disappoints me. I was stopped mid-sentence when he interjected and said words that really made me think. “Do I do anything right mom?” My heart sank and I allowed myself to feel the very pain I was choosing to inflict on him. Who did I think I was that day? How would I feel if everyone wanted to have a conversation about everything I did that was disappointing. Didn’t I already know my flaws and feel bad enough without someone else pointing them out?
The lesson is simple. Just turn on the news and watch this sad process in action. Basically, we get what we look for. We can look for and report the bad, the negative, the doom and gloom or we can seek out and celebrate the good. The problem isn’t always the person or the situation we are pointing our eager finger at. Often times, it is our own perception that is the biggest problem at all. Time to get real. We can’t heal what we won’t acknowledge.
I was driving my son to school this morning and hearing the few words he managed to mutter through his mouth caught me by surprise.
“Can’t you talk about something I do that’s good?”
Silence. That was my reaction. He was tossing my own sermon right back into my face and I sat there engulfed by my own guilt. I’ve felt that same way before. I do so many things right so why do the people I love point out the few things I do wrong? When I’ve needed support, I too have received tough love and criticism. There’s nothing worse when you’re already down than someone trying to keep you there.
This is a reminder to everyone including myself that our words come with consequence. We have to pick and choose words that inspire others and lift them up. We have to consciously be aware whether we are focusing on someone’s positive or dwelling on their negative. Don’t we all need more conversations about how awesome we are and how much we already do that’s worth mentioning? Be a light and use your words to make someone shine today. Focus on the positive and watch someone grow right before your eyes. Will you join me?
I watched a little of the testimony by Jeff Sessions today. I’m not feeling so well and my body decided to force a day of rest on me. I could care less about politics but what I saw today left me feeling somewhat hopeful. As I watched Mr Sessions today I found a role model that has been missing from the world for quite a while. His eyes were warm and not filled with contempt. His voice was soft and respectful, a kindness in his tone I don’t hear very often, including in my own voice. He is a modern day super hero as far as I am concerned because I just don’t see that calm, respectful interaction between people anymore. It is something I long for but try as I may, I have been unsuccessful so far. I hope someday I can speak to others especially when I feel threatened the way I saw him do today. I just thought I’d point it out. I am reminded of the words I wrote in my daughters yearbook earlier this year. Just be you. The world will adjust. We need more people who change the world and less people so easily changed by it.
There are irrefutable facts lost somewhere between the reality of a situation and the story we tell ourselves. No matter how hard I try, my head cannot leave a situation well enough alone. It listens, analyzes, judges, twists and ultimately rewrites the narrative to fit the smallness that stows away inside my head. Overthinking is like a weed that covers the truth and leaves even the most innocent event looking ugly and unkept. It’s so important to reach down and pluck the ugly out from the roots. To be real and honest and admit when those dangerous weeds are hiding the beauty that lies beneath and the only thing allowing them to take over is a simple yet conscious choice. I found myself standing there this week in the middle of my mental garden stomping on the flowers and nourishing the weeds. It took a few days a long with the courage to take a step back and force myself to lift my head and take an honest look to realize what I was creating was far from truth. There are irrefutable facts and the stories we tell ourselves and the truth lies someplace inbetween.
What made you smile today?
I have enjoyed this week more than most. Spring is definitely in the air and this is day three being stress free. Sometimes you can only see something if you are actively looking for it. I have been looking for things to make me smile in the most unusual places and it’s been working better than I ever imagined. We get more of what we focus on so I am choosing to focus on the things that make me happy. Your turn! What made you smile today?
Be bigger than the smallness around you
Be a voice, not an echo
Choose your words wisely
Be better not bitter
Rise above pettiness
Make a positive difference