There's a saying about not judging someone until you've walked in their shoes for a day. There's a lot of wisdom there. It's easy for all of us to say, 'They could lose the weight if they really wanted to.' 'They could quit smoking if they had more will power.' 'They should be more positive, they're always so grumpy.'
If life were only that simple then anyone could do IT, right? That's what we like to think until we're the one who's struggling to lose the 10# or trying to kick the bad habit. We're only human. It's natural for us to get frustrated with other people when we don't know or understand the 'why' or the 'why not' of a situation. It's when we actually take the time to ask and then listen that we'll have a chance of understanding what is behind the problem or the disappointment.
I understand that it's difficult and frustrating to stand by and watch someone move backwards or self-destruct, but disappointment and frustration are REAL emotions so I'm guessing that it's o.k. to feel and experience them. We want to help people help themselves. Nobody wants to stand by and watch someone falter, but sometimes people have situations that are beyond their control because of health, age, etc. In most situations our attitude is about the only thing we do have some input in. If given the right opportunities most of us can find a positive in any negative. We lose someone, but we're thankful for time we did have with them. We watch someone deteriorate from who they used to be, but we're thankful for the times when we see a light in their eyes and they remember our name. We stand by and watch someone abuse themselves, but are optimistic when they finally find their rock bottom because only then will they be able to fight their way back.
There will always be negatives in the world; that's practically a given. BUT there's always the hope for a positive. The other night I was feeling stressed as I sat with someone in the ER. I texted a friend and she reminded me that someone she works with is always looking for the positives in a situation. It's tough when they're referring to you and you realize you need to focus and look a little harder. I guess sometimes it comes back to the basics and it's about nothing more than perception. Is the glass half full or half empty? Personally, I like to think I'm more of a half full kind of gal.
The next time you find yourself unknowingly starting to judge someone - TURN THE TABLES. Stop and watch, then ask questions and stick around long enough to hear the answers. You might be surprised to hear the answers are different from what you thought.
Have you been looking for the positives lately?