On our Alaskan cruise this summer, we headed to the dining room after making sure our boys looked sharp, had removed any hats and had collared shirts on.
There was a very loud and boisterous man in the dining room. When I glanced his way, he was wearing a sleeveless shirt (well, sleeves ripped out so you could see half his side) and a ball cap on backwards. Did I mention we were in the DINING room? That’s the room you go looking classy. I remember thinking, “How dare he?” especially after we went to great lengths.
Later that evening, the kids went on their way and my husband and I went to watch karaoke. Guess who was there? We were sitting right behind him.
You know what? He was radiating JOY. When his small children joined him, he seemed so honored to see them and just wrapped his arms around them. He made them feel so valued and treasured. As a nervous singer got up and was having trouble working through the song, he hollered “IT’S OKAY!!!! WE GOT YA!!!!” and bellowed the words to the song. He hollered encouragement to EVERY singer before, during and after their performance. He patted people on the back, gave hugs, gave high fives.
Although I’d visualized saying something QUITE different to him at dinner, I found myself telling him how fun it’d been to see how kind and encouraging he was to everyone…his children, strangers, etc. He honestly made our night.
I’m learning my life is SO MUCH RICHER when I stop and take inventory of people’s intentions. When I can stop my judging long enough to look at their heart. I’m always grateful when people consider MY heart despite my actions, which might possibly include forgetting your name…or your birthday…or showing up late, but chances are I feel warm, fuzzy thoughts toward you!
How about you? Are you feeling annoyed, or having judgy thoughts toward someone right now? Maybe a neighbor? A coworker? I challenge you this week to look for good in that person. Maybe even write down 3 positive things about that person. When a negative/toxic thought pops into your head about them, look at your list. Your life will be so much richer if you train yourself to see the good in people, rather than the bad. That evening, my negative thoughts had ZERO effect on him, but I was letting it affect my dinner. By allowing myself to see good, my entire evening was blessed, and even after.
Our thoughts can absolutely have an impact on our health and quality of life! Have you heard the saying, “Anyone can find the dirt in people, be the one to find the gold?” I actually think “digging for gold” is an important part of self-care! Why don’t you try to make a special effort this week and see how you feel!