I have this belief that I am loved.
By my Creator.
This affects who I believe I am. My identity is that of someone who is loved; whether I am worthy or not, I believe I am unconditionally loved.
Which also means that I believe that you are loved.
Let me rephrase,
You are loved.
I found that seeing all other people as loved helped me to see them with God’s eyes, the eyes that see their potential and their best. There are times when this is really difficult, and there are times when it is simple. But seeing myself as loved and seeing others as loved is one intentional way I keep my perspective in check.
For instance, take into account your day and that point where something happened and you may have reacted defensively or with frustration. What if instead, you paused, and thought that perhaps that person didn’t let you down; what if you trained yourself to pause to give the benefit of the doubt? Whether it turns out they did let you down or not, I think this is a great practice to put in place.
For a practice, join my scenarios where we will assume the best of strangers, our children, our spouses and ourselves:
You find yourself passing the iPad with your preschooler’s TV show on it, and you notice a stranger looking at you. They are not smiling.
Is that stranger judging you? Let’s assume they are not. Because they might not be.
You hear your children playing in their bedroom, then you hear one scream and run and cry to you that their sister kicked them.
Did your child intentionally kick their sibling? Let’s assume they did not. Because maybe they didn’t.
You feel tired and are looking forward to the last of the chocolate which you top-shelfed. Then you go to eat it and find it is missing.
Did your spouse purposely eat the last of the chocolate? Let’s assume they did not. Because maybe they didn’t.
You are focusing on running an errand, bump into someone and have a chat, but were so focused on your task that you didn’t respond to their news with emotion.
Did you make a serious social blunder in the conversation? Let’s assume you did not. Because maybe you didn’t.
And if the stranger isn’t actually judging you, your child didn’t intentionally kick their sibling, your spouse didn’t purposely eat the last of the chocolate and you didn’t make a serious social blunder in your previous conversation; then isn’t living life a little more pleasant? Aren’t you more likely to connect with the stranger, your child, your spouse and yourself? And even if the stranger did disapprove of you, your child did kick their sibling with all intent, your spouse did knowingly eat your hidden chocolate reward and your conversation sharer did experience you as rather off; all of you have the chance and ability to do differently next time. Each of you have the potential to be better.
A wise book once, twice, thrice or more times informed me that love is not only patient and kind but it doesn’t dishonour or keep a record of wrongs. So no matter how many times a person does a wrong, it doesn’t mean that every time it seems that they may have, they have.
You are loved.
They are loved.
Let’s assume the best of ourselves and of others.
Gabriela Antonini chronicles snapshots of her moments on her Instagram @g_and_tribe, in between racing one of her three lively children, sharing chocolate with her theologian husband, feeding her ever-hungry progeny or singing lyrics wrong with the hubs. She is often found with her nose in a book, at the beach, up a tree or carrying around a teapot. Born in Slovakia, a childhood spent in Melbourne, she now lives in Perth heartily appreciating its exquisitely mild weather.