Happy Monday, or whatever Monday you choose.
If you have ever gone to a wedding, you have probably heard a reading from I Corinthians, Chapter 13. It is a very famous scripture about the attributes of love. In the final verses, Paul also speaks about putting away childish things. There is also a verse about seeing through a mirror, darkly. The concept of a mirror darkly has been featured in films, plays, poetry, television, science fiction, and fiction. In this context of love and perception let us delve into transformation.
When we reach the end of a project, or a stage of our life, or a milestone, it is customary to reflect and review. We often judge ourselves or judge others as part of the process. It can be challenging to look at our lives objectively. We view ourselves and others through the lens of delusion. Putting away childish things means to be honest with yourself and put away the fairy tales about your life. Non-fiction can be challenging, but it does not have to be boring. Ask yourself honestly: What are my successes? What are my opportunities? What have I learned? You must be honest with yourself and hold yourself accountable to grow. We are not alone, and our actions impact others. We have to look at others with that same clarity. It is easy to judge someone, but are you willing to go deeper and try to understand them?
But, and there is always a but – feelings are messy. I don’t want to feel my feelings much less the emotions of others. Being vulnerable can be scary. Remember it is a two-way street. How you treat others is a reflection of your relationship with yourself. Are you compassionate with yourself? Do you allow yourself to be “enough”? The highest level of love is agape love. It is unconditional. When you are willing to let yourself see yourself as fully human and accept the flaws you can do the same for others. When we give people space, we can see more clearly. When our perception is not skewed, we have the opportunity to forge genuine connections and grow together in harmony.
What you seek, you will find. If you look for the best in others, you may influence them to give their best. I believe that words are powerful. I was very frustrated with my kids and told them they were lazy. They happily complied with that perception. I was not happy, and I doubt they were pleased. I had to look at the situation from a more mature perspective. Do my kids wake up each day thinking, “how can we annoy mom today?” No. I also do not wake up thinking, “How can I make the kids' life miserable?” Full disclosure, some mornings I do find the most annoying way to wake them up, but I digress. To deal with the laziness, I tried a different tactic. I spoke about how helpful they were and that I loved them. After a few days of positive feedback, they started to help out more. They regularly do their chores, and there is more harmony in the household.
What’s next? Taking the feelings of others into account does not mean that you lose yourself. You can bend, but you do not need to break. Taking a stand is okay. Being authentic and acting with integrity is what sets leaders apart. It is good to seek the wisdom and counsel of others, but the final decisions rest in your hand. You are the boss of you. How will you manage yourself? How will you treat others? If you honestly assessed yourself, you know your strengths and areas where you need to grow. How will you reach the next milestone and who will be at your side? If you operate from a place of love and compassion, it will give you the objectivity to see the mirror, less darkly.