“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” -C. G Jung. This is a profound quote, I have had to assess myself a few times, wondering why certain characteristics about people annoy me, this pointed to my undealt issues or sore points I must deal with.
How is the view from your lenses? Do you have a positive or negative outlook on life? Our perception of life, situations, and people will determine the outcome of most things we face. Are you always quick to lean to the negative and criticism of others or do you find prioritize finding the positive, even if it is small? An important fact regarding people is that at the core of who they are, they are created in the image of God. Therefore, some of their characteristic traits will represent God. I am not referring to the bad behavior and habits people have adopted due to pain, trauma, or disappointment, but I am referring to people’s character- who they really are.
Today I want to focus on perception, our understanding, opinions, beliefs, and interpretation of concepts. Have you ever heard of the saying “there are two sides to a story?”. This saying is telling us that if we want healthy relationships, we must understand there is more to life than just our feelings and thoughts about situations. We can have viewpoints and express them so that people understand how we feel, but when dealing with others we must remember that all parties involved in situations have feelings, opinions, and thought processes. These may be similar or different from yours. We cannot control how another feels or perceives but we have the responsibility of navigating our thoughts and feelings towards issues and people. It is great when we mature in our thinking, but if we are still immature, we must take accountability and strengthen this area because it impacts our mental health and the decisions we make.
In short, I want to encourage you to be accountable for the way you view life, assess your own opinions of people and situations. Be honest with yourself to see if your perception is limited or tainted. Question your motives to see if you are reacting or responding. Reacting is emotional while responding is emotional intelligence. If you do not grow and mature in your thinking and opinions, you will move through life in a pessimistic way, where the world is always against you. Regularly clean your lenses so that you can correct yourself and heal. Dirty lenses will limit the beauty of life and can damage your relationships, but clean lenses produce a clear outlook on life. As I encourage you to check yourself, I too commit to being accountable to checking my often-tainted lenses, I know I have a long way to go regarding this area.
“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law” -Proverbs 29: 18.