What's wrong with this picture?
We all begin as naive little sponges. Our minds are filled with the words, language, customs, and thoughts of those around us. As we grow older, particularly in the teenage years, we begin to evaluate those things and are exposed to peer groups whose beliefs mix with our own that are developing and those handed to us already. Some things are accepted, some rejected, and we continue to grow and learn.
On the road from naive to wise, there's a lot of pain. For some people, more than others. And some are more sensitive to it by nature.
So a tendency that can develop to try and prevent more pain is to start thinking along the lines of "what's wrong with this picture?" The thought being that if you come across a good thing -- or a good person -- and you can figure out how they will hurt you before they do, you can prevent that pain from happening.
But what you look for is usually what you'll see. So if you're looking for something wrong, you can probably find it even if it isn't there.
Now what you're doing isn't being smart, it's harming yourself and other people.
When some people realize this is what they've been doing or discover the law of attraction, they'll flip to the opposite and start looking only for "what's right with this picture?" Ignoring the bad, trying to focus only on the good and hope that it grows.
Well turns out this isn't the way to go either. When you ignore what you feel and what hurts you and try to maintain thinking really highly of someone who acts in sometimes very obvious hurtful ways, you'll end up feeling used, spent, your self worth will erode, or all three.
So what's the answer then?
Balance. Discernment. Paying attention to how you feel during the day, otherwise known as "awareness."
When you stay in touch with how you feel and evaluate each experience with a positive reality, you'll be able to decide without much doubt what is actually amazing, what's good, what's not so good, and what you just don't want in your life.
Authentic happiness isn't found in pointing out everything wrong that needs to be fixed. It's not found in glossing over reality and pretending everything is just fine. It's found in being honest, courageous, aware, and in deciding what's right and good for you and showing appreciation for those who are both willing and able to treat you with love, kindness, and respect.
Nobody's perfect. And a lot of quirks and differences in opinion are just that, differences. Not wrong or right. But when people are mean or hurtful and either don't apologize or just keep on doing the same thing after apologizing...that's not just a difference of opinion. That's a need for distance.
Some people you'll just click with. You'll enjoy their company and feel like you can truly be yourself. Those connections are never to be taken for granted or dismissed as boring or fake because there's no arguing going on. Those are the realest connections you'll ever find and true treasures in life.
Learn more about relationship patterns and how to recognize them in Doe's book:
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