I was having a bad day today – when I opened my iPad to this writing…

“You should always give people the same advantage that you give a painting; and that is to see them in the best possible light.”

It is absolutely incredible that I stumbled on this specifically today, because I was judging someone today. I myself had forgotten the gifts the Angels had given to me previously. Luckily, they were there to remind me by having this mysteriously show up on my iPad.

Judgement

For the last decade, I have known that being in judgement of someone is not the highest place to be. Still, I had a “mini-career” teaching dairy judging in college. I judge sparring and forms in tae Kwon do, and focusing on “the best”. It feels almost to look at the situation and size it up immediately. However, I couldn’t have that space in my brain empty if it is filled with judgement. I have spent a decade at least “trying” not to judge.

In my favorite movie, Camelot – with Richard Harris, Arthur asks Merlin what to do if he was sad… Merlin replied quickly: “learn something!” 

Appreciation

That information has served me well throughout my life, and I had an epiphany to combine this with my judgement problem. I made a rule, that whenever I saw someone, I would have to come up with something GOOD to say to them, a compliment, if you will. And I could choose whether or not to share the thought with the person.

From this experience, I have had several realizations. I realized that after a certain age, women quit receiving compliments about their looks. When I would tell an older woman that she had a beautiful smile, she looked at me like I am insane. It is a testament to how we treat age in our world that a compliment is not always accepted as a caress, but thought of as a hard slap.

At a meeting early this year, I was doing my thing, complimenting people genuinely and sincerely. Seems that when you look for good things, an abundance of them show up. A woman who had seen me interacting with People commented that it seemed as if I am always in appreciation. What a beautiful thing to say. I realized I had finally dropped the harness of negative thinking, a harness that was as brutal to me at times as it was to the people being judged. That contraption kept me from seeing the beauty in the world, because it conditioned me to see the flaws, the negativity.

What you focus on expands. If you are looking for negativity, or for slanderous information, it is always there, right beneath your feet. And by excavating it, you always find more. However, that is true for both sides. By focusing on beauty, you find more of it also. While this didn’t happen overnight, it DID happen. That may even be because my mind had other ideas (like it is easier separate myself from someone than see the likeness, the humanness).

As a young girl, I entered my artwork in the county fair. They had youth categories, and you could have entries in all the different types of artwork, pencil, charcoal, pastel, paintings. When I entered the crafts building for the first look after the judging, I not only looked for the ribbons on my work, I also looked at which of the other artwork had won. I would look at the other works of art simply to find fault with them. After I saw a flaw, I felt that the creator was an equal, they were not above my skills. In my young mind, I needed to find fault so that I was equal to that other artist. What I didn’t realize then is by seeing those other artists as competition I didn’t become friends with them. If I had actually committed to befriending them, I could have learned the ins and out of their style. I could have learned more about art and more about them as a person.

“Even love cannot enter a closed heart.”

Judgement versus Appreciation

Change your life today by committing to love yourself, and to love others by seeing them with an open heart instead of a critical mind. When you hear humanity in the form of whatever love is knocking, open your heart. I am not saying that the shutters won’t fly shut on your heart again, or that you won’t feel like shuttering your heart. But if you allow your heart to throb along to the beat of others and to connect to the vibrancy of the world’s humanity; when you meet someone with love, it often if not always will be met with love. If you do not already know that love is letting go of fear, you will know this after you practice this simple task.

For everyone you meet, come up with a compliment instead of a barb. Try a caress instead of a punch, and remember to give people the same advantage that you give a painting, by seeing them in the best possible light!

 

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