On my last post I asked us all to take part in a project, to take the time to recognize someone, just one person. Whether it be to smile at them, say hello, comment or compliment them, it did not matter. Today I want to address a what if. What if the person you smiled at, or said hello to, did not respond or reciprocate? What if the person came back to your comment or compliment with a scowl or worse? Well, remember this is about you not them. I say do not be a mirror. Far to often we are and we do not even realize it. What do I mean by do not be a mirror?
I guess the best way I can tell you is by giving an example. Imagine your late for work and in a hurry. You had a flat tire that is now fixed and only want your morning coffee and the morning or day to be over with already. You stop to get your coffee and now you are stuck in line. Now imagine you are the cashier trying to move as fast as you can to get your line down, trying to keep up with the emptying coffee pots, with the emptying grills and/or shelves, even running two registers at the same time if necessary. Guess what you want? Your darn morning or day to be over with already. Now it does not matter which person you choose to be, both are frustrated, aggravated, and stressed. Both have no idea how the others day started or has been. So what do you do? Here is where the choice is crucial. One choice is rather easy, the other takes discipline, fortitude, strength, and more. You can choose to be the mirror and explode on the other while they explode on you, or you can choose not to be the mirror. You can, as hard as it will be, be the change. You can take a deep breath, slowly exhale, and recognize their bad day and try to make them feel a little better. You just might find you make yourself feel a little better too.
Now none of us is perfect, and we all at times, are going to be the person who has to explode our bad day, to let it all go. My hope on those days, is I do not get a mirror. My hope on those days is that the receiver makes the choice to let it go and understand. I do make every attempt to make those kinds of days minimal, or to change my thinking and reaction to those kinds of days. Life happens to all of us, learning how to flow with it, is not always easy. What I have learned in my life is days are always better when I choose not to be the mirror to someone else’s bad day. They become even better when I have the strength to provide kindness, forgiveness, understanding, compassion, and love to the person who is having the bad day. I actually find that it makes their day a little better also.
So maybe our next project is to try to recognize when we should and/or should not be a mirror. When we should reflect back to someone what they are giving us, when what they are giving is something positive. And when we should not reflect back to someone what they are giving us, when what they are giving us is completely and utterly negative. When we try to step out of our own shoes and into someone else’s we just might find, their day is just as bad as ours and something needs to change. Why not be the one to change the course.
You all know I love quotes, so I will leave you with this one from Pearl Bailey ~ “We look into mirrors but we only see the effects of our times on us – not our effects on others”.