I don't like to dust. It feels like an exercise in futility. You scour surfaces, blinds, nooks and crannies to remove dust only to have it return in what seems like the wink of an eye. But it's necessary and satisfying to stand back and admire your gleaming results. And I confess, I could use to dust more often. But I digress.
I recall a day after dutifully dusting the TV stand, picture frames, and other surfaces, removing objects, dusting under and around, I was feeling pleased with my efforts. Surely my family will be pleased that this dust film has been temporarily annihilated.
And the first response I heard was: "Why are all the picture frames crooked?" Instead of noticing my efforts at cleaning the first thing noticed was what was wrong. And although I know there was no harm meant in that comment, I must admit I felt a bit deflated.
Now I'm not saying that it's wrong to offer constructive criticism, to teach, instruct, or help people do a better job, but do you ever catch yourself noticing what's wrong before you notice what's right?
We can do this with ourselves, our kids, our spouses, our family, our jobs, our situations, and so on.
When you look in the mirror do you see all that's awesome about yourself or your self perceived "flaws"? Do you notice the blessings or the wants? Now we all have things we can improve, we can set goals and work towards them, but do we spend time being grateful for the gifts we already have?
Now how about our dealings with others? Do you see the annoying or problematic in kids, co-workers, spouses, or family members before you see the strengths? As I mentioned before constructive criticism, teaching, discipline, and instruction are important and necessary but doing so in confrontation versus love can bring very different consequences.
We can notice the effort and acknowledge it. Offer suggestions for what could be done better and end with a thankful attitude. We can ask questions to better understand another's perspective. We can teach and instruct instead of assuming we are on the same page.
For self we can redirect negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. We can help or encourage those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
From an aromatherapy standpoint citrus oils encourage and support positive mood. They are sunny and bright and ask us to look for the best in others. How do you feel or imagine it feels when you are encouraged, appreciated, and supported in a postive way?
As the saying goes, we reap what we sow. In planting seeds of encouragement and positivity we will ultimately support the development of encouraged individuals and promote positivity.
And the best way to encourage is to be encouraged. Some of my favorite sites include Our Daily Bread and Dr. Caroline Leaf.
And I encourage you to see the positive even when things aren't perfect.
If you have questions, comments, or just want to chat feel free to email, text, or call.