Too often in life we allow ourselves to believe what I refer to as “the monsters in our head” -those negative thoughts that too quickly jump to judgement of ourselves or other people. It’s those thoughts about ourselves where we think we aren’t liked, or we don’t fit in, or that we aren’t good enough, or attractive enough, or important enough, or successful enough, or well liked enough… And it’s those thoughts we have about others when we assume the worst about them, or we assume they were out to get us, or they meant to hurt us, or they were trying to exclude us, or they think they are better than us…This negative way of viewing ourselves and others will never lead to a place of happiness, which is why it’s up to us to invite the monsters in our head to kindly get out.
“Self-pity is easily the most destructive of nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.” – John W. Gardner
Our life is so much happier when we are willing to give ourselves and others the benefit of the doubt. We should assume the good and doubt the bad! And we should remember that in reality we all have far more in common with one another than we recognize.
When we are willing to set aside the surface differences we perceive about each other…things such as wealth, or status, or beauty, or age, or nationality, or skin color, or degree, or any other external differences that exist….and we pay attention to the heart of another person we will find that there are commonalities that exist between every single one of us. We’ve all experienced hurts, fears, frustrations, hopes, heartaches, loss, disappointments, insecurities – in fact, I have yet to meet even one person in this life who hasn’t experienced those emotions – given they may have experienced them in different ways and to different degrees, but nonetheless, we have all experienced those feelings, which means there is always a common thread to be found between us.
Charity is one of life’s most important virtues. I love the following quote because it reminds us that charity is expecting the best of each other, which means not allowing those negative thoughts and assumptions to exist in our minds. It reminds us to give each other the benefit of the doubt.
“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’ s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.” -Marvin J. Ashton
Maybe this weeks mantra can be “Assume The Good And Doubt The Bad” Have a great start to the week everyone!
~Amy Rees Anderson