One of the things that I’ve noticed (both in myself and others) is when we’re trying to figure out why someone is acting in a way (that we don’t like) and we come up with all sorts of ideas defining them and their life: labels, diagnoses, and theories, then we can be sure that we’re the ones who are not happy in that moment.
Unhappy people are by far the most critical. Unhappy people are the most judgemental. Unhappy people are the most suspicious. Unhappy people try to figure out what is wrong with someone/something else, to feel superior themselves.
So when I catch myself thinking critical, judgemental, or suspicious thoughts, I stop the thought and ask myself what is happening with me in the moment, and then I try to become conscious of my own thinking, sometimes turning my mind away from the “troubling” person or situation, over and over until I am in a better state.
Everyone is mult-faceted. If I can only see the negative, then I’m the one I need to focus on. I’m the one who needs the help to change.
As we head into this holiday season and may be spending more time with people who we’ve had a tendency to see in “the same old way” (or at least will be thinking about them more than usual) it will be very helpful to watch our own thinking and feelings and even ask ourselves, “How can I see everyone and everything through happier, kinder, more generous eyes.” (and remember to put yourself at the top of that list!)
“Happy or unhappy, families are all mysterious. We have only to imagine how differently we would be described – and will be, after our deaths – by each of the family members who believe they know us”. Gloria Steinem