We generally don’t have to look hard to find many things not as they should be, or, at least, not as we want them to be. Complaints and criticisms tend to come pretty easy. What’s harder is to train our eyes to see and focus on the good. This is not to ignore the bad, but intentionally not giving it any more weight than necessary.
For instance, we can see this in marriage. A dark cloud of despair eventually settles over us when the majority of our thoughts and comments are focused on what we don’t like about the other. Love is not blind and it serves no one to pretend we don’t each have areas of growth. But focusing on the good is being mindful of how we frame and interpret these potential sticking points.
For example, nagging is typically seen in a negative light. And there might come a time to gently suggest a better style of communicating and getting points across. But, in the meantime, we can still choose to see her nagging as an attempt to bring out the best in us, and our marriage. And choosing to see this good in her heart, despite the less than desirable way it’s being presented, sets a very different atmosphere for our relationship.
Of course, this also holds for our work, friendships, communities, and the like.
Our thoughts and heart attitudes shape the atmosphere around us. This is not to engage in wishful thinking while pretending everything is better than it really is. But it is learning to discipline ourselves to give the benefit of the doubt, extend grace, and offer forgiveness, as we stay committed to seeing and pursuing the light in each other.
Bitterness, distrust, and isolation are the result when we don’t.
In the end, cultivate an atmosphere of light and love throughout your life and relationships by staying focused on the good – addressing the bad as needed without losing sight of the full measure of goodness still present.