To remember my Minnesota friends, a friend gifted me an address book when I moved from Minnesota to Kentucky. Turning the pages now, it strikes me how many people have moved or are no longer alive. I do not have the heart to remove names of loved ones lost.
Others I have not actually spoken with in years, and some I talk with nearly every day. Moving or switching jobs changed the nature of many relationships. Family and work commitments and community involvement and life itself affected others.
Their names conjure up images of moments shared. I recall laughing and playing and being silly and sharing moments celebrating weddings, newborn babies, birthdays, and other holidays, along with being present during illnesses, breakups, and funerals.
While I certainly do not wish to feel sad or hurt when reading names, occasional thoughts of harsh words or perceived slights also come to mind. Choosing to reflect only on those less wonderful moments really does not serve me or anyone else.
The people I have known the longest undoubtedly have the most memories in each category~ wonderful and less wonderful. Focusing on just one experience might lead me to misunderstand or misinterpret the relationship.
Likewise, anyone who has seen me at my worst may believe only the worst about me and people who have seen me at my best may only believe the best about me. Of course, even knowing all parts exist some may still choose to believe only in the best or worst.
It is always choice. Seeing, hearing, and knowing all parts of a person may either deepen the connection or create extreme disconnection. The more compassion I bring to my thoughts about anyone opens the space for peace. Each day in each moment I choose the lens through which I see anyone.
During 2021, will you join me choosing to see and hear through the eyes and ears of compassion and understanding? Moving in the direction of this resolution will surely bring us closer to peace.
You are invited to learn more and join me for the free live on-line Peace Building 101: Begin with You. You may click here to register for free. Consider it my gift to you, and the time you invest will be your gift to you, and those around you.