Making the Invisible Visible

October 6, 2012

A young friend writes a blog from college, and I love her fresh perspective.  Her last blog was about reducing judgements and increasing appreciation of others.

She reminded me that most of us are doing the best we can to navigate a very complex and confusing world with grace and integrity.

Yes, we fall down, forget, relapse, over or under-react, snap, snipe, gossip, nag…you name it, we do it.  And if my radar is set to find those behaviors, of course I’ll see them everywhere, because we’re only human, right?

My friend has discovered one of the keys to a rich life:  when her radar is turned to noticing what’s right about people, she literally sees things that were invisible before.

It’s so very easy to judge someone and find them wanting when we haven’t walked in their shoes.  “I think you should…” or “If it were me, I’d…’ are probably the most famous, unhelpful words ever uttered.  The truth is if it were me I can’t imagine what I’d do in your situation and often have the thought I hope I’d do half as well as you have!

If it’s true that what we put our attention on grows I like the idea of putting mine on people’s intentions.  I think there’s a basic goodness that we human beings share, in spite of our sometimes clumsy and awkward external behaviors.  Of course we can always find exceptions.  If we look for them, we’ll find more than one.  That’s not how I want to spend my time.

Because of my work I’m in a unique position to see the effort and desire and longings behind people’s behaviors.  And what I see is that regardless of how the behaviors look on the surface we all seem to want pretty much the same things.  We want a sense of safety, to love and be loved, and to know that we’re making some kind of meaningful contribution to the world, that it matters that we’re here.

Setting an intention to look for what’s right about people can be a powerful tool in providing new direction to a mind that often drags us around by the nose and notices what’s wrong, not what’s right.

My intention for today is to give everyone who crosses my path the benefit of the doubt.  To remember that we’re all, including myself, doing the best we can with what we know.  That most of us are trying to navigate this life with dignity and integrity, although sometimes it’s hard to see the integrity from the outside looking in.  So my intention is to see you from the inside out.

Thanks so much for spending time with me.  Please share your thoughts with our other readers.

10 comments

  1. YPaula Tate says:

    I really liked this reading. It made me think about work and the challenge of keeping the positive in front. With the competitive work environments it takes a strong will to stay focused and not allow negative influences to affect your attitude and behavior. Thank you for your thoughts and helping me stay on track.

    • robyn1001 says:

      Yes, Paula, there’s something so powerful about simply setting an intention to notice where attention is going! Thanks so much for your thoughts. Love, Robyn

  2. Dick says:

    “My intention for today is to give everyone who crosses my path the benefit of the doubt. To remember that we’re all, including myself, doing the best we can with what we know. That most of us are trying to navigate this life with dignity and integrity, although sometimes it’s hard to see the integrity from the outside looking in. So my intention is to see you from the inside out.”-Robyn

    My Reflection for Today. I am putting this into my journal that I keep of thoughts worth pondering occasionally. Thank you, Robyn.

  3. Your last few blogs have really resonated with me … it’s as if you have a window into my life and give me the best possible advice at that moment. A little eerie actually. I also find your blogs very well written. I can hear your voice in them. Superb!

    • robyn1001 says:

      Stephanie, thank you! It’s tremendously rewarding to hear that you’re finding things that resonate with what’s going on in your life. Love, Robyn

    • robyn1001 says:

      Hi Lynn, it’s lovely when we’re not alone with this stuff! Thanks for your comment. Love, Robyn

  4. Susan O. says:

    I love this intention! I remember a time when I was very sick. I was standing in the Naperville Dominick’s at 10pm in a snow storm. I was sick to my stomach and a little green around the gills from my latest round of chemo. I was picking up a few groceries. My wig was probably askew and I’m sure I probably looked like heck. I was standing in line at the checkout and the man in front of me turned around and looked at me from head to toe with the most disgusting look on his face . . . he kept staring at me and all I wanted to do was disappear because I knew what I must have looked like to him. I remember thinking to myself, “Buddy, if you only knew what I am going through . . . I’m battling for my life.” It’s nearly 25 years later and I still remember how this stranger made me feel. Yes, I logically know that the opinions of others don’t define me. But I also know how hurtful we can be when we judge. Thank you for this beautiful intention, Robyn . . . I love it!!

    • robyn1001 says:

      Susan, I’m kind of speechless. Except to say thank you for your eloquence, vulnerability and authenticity. Love, Robyn

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