As I wrote this, I was in a plane on my way to Hawaii, part business trip, part second honeymoon. 😍 It was a long day, and this was my second six hour flight of the trip. We finely got in the air after an hour long delay on the tarmac.
As I was looking out the window of the plane, I noticed finger prints on my window. 🙄 I couldn’t get my focus off of them. Every time I glanced out the window, all I noticed were grubby fingerprints. I was obsessed with them! I used a tissue to try to wipe them off, and then I noticed a scratch on the outside of the window. My eyes went right to it as well, every time I glanced out the window. I was annoyed that both were interfering with my view. The flaws on the window were really all I could see.
It took me a while to realize how silly I was being. Here I was traveling over gorgeous scenery: mountains, deserts, a checkerboard of farmland, and I was focused on the three fingerprints and the scratch. 🤦♀️ And because of that misplaced focus, I was missing out on a bunch of amazing sights.
Then a realization kind of smacked me upside the head: focus on the beauty, on the good and not the flaws! I was noticing the flaws because that’s what I was looking for. It wasn’t enough that I first noticed the fingerprints… I had to seek out the scratch as well… and let both of them drive me crazy and occupy all my attention.
It also made me pause and reflect on how often we do this with our kids, partner, or ourselves! We get so focused on a single flaw, one incident of bad behavior, a fight we had…that we can miss out on beautiful memories…. we can’t see the beauty because we’re only focusing on the flaws. When mine were little (well, one in particular), they’d have a great day and then do one thing wrong. Because my hubby was looking for (waiting for?) our son to mess up, he would say to him, “See, you ruined the whole day,” as if that one act of misbehavior displaced all the other positive elements of our day. It wasn’t fair… but because hubby’s focus was on the flaws, that was what he saw.
This is a classic example of how the Law of Attraction works. The things we focus on expand (meaning we notice them more and attract more of them) while the things we don’t focus on just drift into the background. On the plane, while I was busy getting my panties tied in a knot over the grubby fingerprints, I nearly missed out on the gorgeous landscape below. I needed to switch my focus to notice the beauty.
With our kids (or ourselves), the principle is the same. When we focus on bad behavior or mistakes, we will notice more of it; the kids will also pick up on our expectations, and they will make sure that they fulfill those expectations – negative or positive. So catch them doing something right! Catch yourself doing something well! When you focus on the positive elements of life, they will grow! You’ll come to appreciate your kids and your parenting ability way more than you ever thought possible.
Don’t let the grubby fingerprints block your view of the beautiful moments in life!
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Hi, I’m Beth. I help busy moms ditch the overwhelm and gain confidence, so they can enjoy parenting more, yell less, and have peaceful kids and a happy family.
Originally published at www.epicfamilies.com