For our team, January was all about focusing on who we are, and remembering that who we are is more important than what we do. We’re excited to shift that focus for February to others, and focus on all the people in our life.
One of our key tenets of optimism is to See the Light in Others. What you focus on expands. This is one of those truths that is easily overlooked, but applies to almost every aspect of life.
If we focus on the good, there is more good to see. If we focus on the bad, it seems like that is all there is. The same is true for what we focus on in others.
By focusing on the good, the light, of those around you, you help to bring out the best in them. You reinforce it. You help it grow, expand, and take root. When the best parts of ourselves are recognized, we want to continue showing up with those best parts. And when the good in us is celebrated, we want to live up to the good that is seen in us.
This month our energy is invested in this pursuit to see the light in others. Often the focus of February is about a “romantic other,” but we are broadening that lens to include our neighbors, our siblings, our friends, our parents, our colleagues, and everyone else that we encounter. All of these “others” in our lives can benefit from us focusing on the light inside of them. And so can we.
Notice that I didn’t say deserve. If we let ourselves give only what we think others deserve, we will justify ourselves into a spiral of selfishness and hypocrisy. None of us are perfect, so really none of us deserve to have others focus only on the light inside us instead of our flaws. But it’s because we don’t deserve it that it’s so remarkable when people treat us in this way. It warms us and makes us feel special because someone cares enough about us to look past our faults to our inner light. So make your motivation not that others deserve to have you treat them this way, but rather the tried and tested Golden Rule – treat others as you wish for them to treat you.
Here are a few of our tips on how to see the light in others:
- Treat them as if they are the best version of themselves – Everyone is a sum of all of their parts, but too often we treat people as if they are defined by their shortcomings, or mistakes, instead of seeing the entire person. Is this how we would want to be treated ourselves? My guess is that everyone would answer “no.” But we still persist in this mindset with others. Instead, this month try to shift your focus to the positive things about those around you – why you love them, or even why other people love them. Everyone has redeeming qualities. Everyone.
- Assume positive intent – Most people overthink – about everything – but especially when it comes to our relationships and interactions with others. We take something relatively minor – someone forgets to call on our birthday, or misses a date we had scheduled – and blow it out of proportion in a negative way, assuming it means that they don’t love us, that something tragic has happened to them, or that they’ve found someone else. Instead, what’s most often the case is that their life got busy, or they got caught up at work, or their kids were sick, or any number of mundane things happened, to where life simply got in the way. Avoid the anxiety and stress – and the potential that you’ll cause anxiety and stress in others – by giving them the benefit of the doubt and be an example of grace, patience, and compassion.
- Reflect the light back – Throughout history, people have loved looking up at the moon. It makes sense – it’s ethereal but yet not out of humanity’s reach, it’s fascinating, and it’s beautiful. But most of what makes it beautiful is that it reflects the beauty – the light – of the sun. The best relationships in our life usually stem from our ability to reflect light back to those around us when they need it, and vice versa. When the darkness of life seems to be suffocating us, we need people to remind us what first drew us together and what they love about us. And we need to provide that same reflection for others – by encouraging, supporting, praising them. By doing this, we often give others permission to light up once again.
How do you see the light in others? We challenge you to come up with one or two specific, tangible ways that you can practice seeing the light in others this month. And, if you’re comfortable, share them with us on Facebook or Instagram.
The Davine Team