A few weeks ago I had an epiphany. All at once, I started seeing a few people differently. Maybe it was because I had been really struggling with some events that were going on in my life (still are, just aren't top priority anymore); maybe it was because I stopped looking at myself so much and started to think about others a little more. Whatever the cause, the effect is that I started to see things a little more like the Lord may see things.
We all know people who may not top the world's "top 10 best list" (whatever that list may be - looks, talent, etc.). Sometimes, as mortals, we make judgements on those people. Personally, I'm guilty. I have come to understand that I am NOT responsible for making a personal "top 10 best" list unless I am making that list for myself.
It all started in December. We had some terrible weather and I started working longer hours. Mr. Snicklebutt stopped working (he's in the construction industry and that particular industry basically ceased to function as a money making scheme) and someone tried to point out to me a few of my faults. No one likes to have their faults pointed out, but with enough love and tact, it can be successfully accomplished without the recipient feeling like a total loser. Not so in my case. I quickly ended the phone call feeling lousy. The odd thing was, nothing of importance was said! The sentence started out "I have a few concerns about..." Immediately I went into defense mode and decided that I did't want to listen anymore. And then, I started to make a list. It was a top ten list - only it was all negative. A list of things that I was feeling. A list that said without saying, "I'll show you!". And for two months I used that list as fodder for how I was feeling.
Until a few weeks ago when I simply stopped caring. Sure, the issue is still there and eventually the Elephant that is standing in my living room is going to need to be invited out. HOWEVER... I am no longer as emotionally attached to said elephant, and I feel that I will be able to invite him to leave. It won't be easy - have you ever tried to get an Elephant through your door??? But I feel that I will be able to address the issue without all the emotion that caused me to so vehemently make a top ten list.
Why the change? I started looking for ways to change. I looked in the mirror and realized that I didn't like myself. I didn't like the way that I was causing myself to feel over something so simple as a comment... "I have a few concerns..." It was literally wearing me out. I was exhausted. I was spiritually, emotionally and mentally exhausted. After all, carrying around an Elephant for that long can be wearing! And, I started to look at the situation through the Lord's eyes.
I was standing in line at the grocery store when I saw a woman who wasn't at all attractive. Not at first. The longer I stared, and yes, I was caught staring, the more I was able to see her for who she really is - a daughter of God. I don't know this woman. I've never seen her. She could have been carrying what seemed to her to be the weight of the world on her shoulders. But in an instant and for an instant, she was absolutely gorgeous. It was an "Ah-ha" moment. I had the distinct impression that I was in the wrong for judging someone else. I may still feel that they are in the wrong for wanting me to change, but it's all a matter of pride.
Am I willing to let my pride go and listen to the thoughts and feelings of another, or do I want to always do things my way? Do I want to see if there are other ways to do something, or do I always have to be right? And what would the Savior do or say? Mr. Snicklebutt suggested to me that we invite the person with whom I have an issue over for dinner. At the time, I wasn't ready to listen to that small prompting from someone who knows me well enough to know that really I want to forgive them and to love them as the Savior does. Perhaps now would be a good time to let go of my pride and extend the invitation.
There are two ways of looking at things. One is through the eyes of the world; with their top ten lists and ways to change other people. The other is through the Lord's eyes where everyone is equal and loved for their differences. My desire is to continue to see through the Lord's eyes... and perhaps then, I'll become the person that He wants me to be.