"Perception is a mirror, not a fact. As I think, so I see." This quote from Jerry Jampolsky has meant so much to me through the years. It reminds me look for positive things in people and in my environment so that I will live in a positive world.
This is especially true in my relationships. My husband is a wonderful man, but everyone has faults, and he is no exception. I really try to focus on his strengths instead of his weaknesses, and then he displays even more strengths. Actually, my husband is not a very critical man so he is easy to love.
Sometimes, though, I encounter negative people who would rob my joy if I didn't take time to be in touch with God. I like the story I saw in email once about the woman criticizing her neighbor's dingy wash on the clothes line only to find out that she was looking at it through her own dirty windows. When she washed her windows, she was surprised to see that the neighbor's wash was really clean, not dingy at all. I think I encountered this recently when someone was criticizing a member of my family and hadn't bothered to wash their own windows.
It is during times like this, though, that I realize how important forgiveness is, and how I need to stand guard over my own spirit so I do not become critical. I need to realize when my own window is dirty and train myself to see the best in people. Joel Osteen suggests that you have this internal conversation, "You know, I may not understand them, but I will not be a faultfinder. I'm giving this person the benefit of the doubt."
The way other people make a living or raise their children is none of my business or none of anyone else's business, unless, of course, they are breaking a law or something. If everyone would spend the time and energy on their own issues that they spend on other people's issues, they would have it all together themselves. There would be no time for nosiness, only time for celebrating their own successes as well as other people's successes.
Well, I am getting out the windex today and cleaning my windows so I won't look at other people's laundry and judge it as dirty. I need to do that in all my relationships and even get prayed up enough to not be critical this coming school year of my district's policies. That's a big one for me.
Light and Love,