Do you ever just need to give yourself a good talking-to? It’s actually quite amazing!
This morning I spent some time analyzing my feelings. Why was I not feeling loving toward someone? Was there an underlying sense of resentment that I was not acknowledging? And if so, why? Was there something we weren’t discussing, and if so, why not? Was I deep sixing my thoughts or feelings just to maintain the status quo? Was that helpful to the relationship? Did it just feel like it was when maybe it was making the relationship so much less than it could be?
So as I was attending to house chores, I actually spoke out loud to myself, as if someone was talking to me and giving me another way to look at things. Rather than my explaining my viewpoint, however, my “conversation” was really just me listening to myself explain why my outlook was askew. To be truthful, to me at the time, it felt as if I was in a conversation with Yeshua, the Wonderful Counselor, for what I said to myself was so insightful, comforting, wise, healing, and filled with love. Yet He was admonishing me too!
Was I judging harshly because I was unhappy with something in my own life? Instead of wishing the other person did this or that, would it be better for me to reevaluate my own decisions and their impact on my life? Were my own choices the root cause of the negative feelings rather than what the other person was doing or not doing? If not, was it my place to put my expectations on another of what to do, especially if those actions don’t directly affect me? Instead of looking at what is not being done, look at what is! Each person’s choices are their own. How does the other person feel? What capacities do they have? Perhaps this is the best he or she can do.
As each thought and question came to mind and as I processed the answers, I actually was admonishing myself, for the answers made it clear that the root of my feelings stemmed from my lack of gratitude, not from the actions or inactions of another. After quite a talking-to, even though no change in actions had occurred, I immediately felt so loving toward and grateful for the other person. I understood I had looked at what I thought should be done based on my life choices, not on what really needed to be done. I recognized that what was needed was a change to my perspective – to walk in the other person’s shoes rather than my own. When I did so, I was immediately grateful for all of the love and kind actions I was receiving and taking for granted. I was able to see the other person’s perspective, feel the challenges from that viewpoint, feel the insecurities. In response, my heart opened to love more deeply.
I was reminded of this recently when Sid and I were walking for exercise around the street that is a loop near our home. When we got to the top of the street ready to descend the next time around, our counts were one off. He counted 5 and I counted 6. In comparing our methodology we realized he counted a loop when complete and I counted the one we were then on, the one just beginning. Both great approaches. Yet they represented two different perspectives, his the finished, all is done, and mine the anticipated completion of the one we were just starting. In every relationship, to see from the viewpoint of the other’s side when interacting generates not only deeper understanding of another, but actual gratefulness for the differences.
When we embrace those differences and value their importance in our own lives, our love portals become better able to give and receive love in a way designed by our Abba as a glimpse of His unconditional love of us. May your eyes be opened this week to the multitude of opportunities for such love.