Focus on the Positive

When you’re gazing at your reflection in the mirror, it’s not always easy to focus on the positive, especially if it’s a full-length mirror. Even some of the most beautiful people observe themselves with a critical eye. Instead of the outer beauty we see, they notice the tiny wrinkles and blemishes they possess. Once considered a natural part of life, wrinkles, lumps, and rolls are now devastating. 
Old age is a time of reflection. We look back on our lives and wonder if we’ve achieved our fullest potential. Sometimes, we’re not happy with our own assessment.
The other day, I witnessed someone’s realization that her situation is not as bad as she thought. She’d been focusing on the negative elements of her life and truly, her life is not easy. Elderly and living on a stipend, sometimes she gets discouraged. An opportunity came for her to visit a friend in similar financial circumstances. The friend’s small apartment is tastefully decorated. There are many beautiful trinkets and collections on display. Her walls are decorated with family photos, awards, events, paintings, etc.  
My friend came away with a long face. When I asked why she seemed down, her confession surprised me. Her apartment looked shabby in comparison to her friend’s. After arriving home, she looked around and realized that while her things were not as many or as elegant, they were hers. Most of the things express her personality. Many were gifts from family and friends. Souvenirs from her cross-country trips, along with several jaunts to Mexico, adorn her walls and shelves. 
Most precious to her is the colorful hand-quilted spread on her bed and the last photograph taken of her late husband. A beautiful teapot collection adorns her kitchen and a handmade plaque, a gift from a beloved sister-in-law, depicts John 3:16, For God so loved the world…
She called me a few days later and told me how she had come to realize her gifts were different from those of her friend. Her apartment is her home. She’s surrounded not by elegance, but by comfort. She glanced at her reflection in the mirror and what she saw surprised her. She caught a glimpse of her twenty-year-old self and she felt happy. “I have much to be thankful for,” she told me. “I have my health, a wonderful family, and faith in God.”
I heard a new confidence in her voice I’d never detected before. I looked in my inner mirror and tried to focus on the positive elements of my life. I was almost immediately flooded with an overall feeling of contentment. I have a long way to go in some areas, but I can see that I’m on the right path.
Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. Happy Spring!


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