Challenge for Growth Prompt #2: Looking for the Good in Others

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Looking for the good

 

This week’s challenge is:

“Today I look for the good qualities in others.”

When we are in a bad mood, we may find ourselves focusing on someone else’s faults. When we focus on the negative, we are likely to see negativity all around us. From time to time, Amma reminds us that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

People often get triggered into negative thinking when they are with someone who reminds them of a person that hurt them in the past. In the psychotherapy model I use, we refer to that as “putting someone else’s face” on the present day person. That process is also referred to as projection.

Clients in therapy frequently project their parents’ faces on their therapists. I remember a time in the mid 90’s when a client was always angry with the male co-therapist in one of my therapy groups. He knew that the therapist reminded him of his father, but he was having a hard time “getting his dad’s face” off of the therapist.

This therapist had some unusual characteristics so I said to the client, “Did your dad ever wear an earring?” and “Did your dad sometimes wear red toenail polish?” The client started laughing. His father would NEVER have considered doing either of those things. Seeing the differences really helped him separate the therapist from his father.

This week, for one, two, three days or longer, focus on looking for the good in others. If you have trouble finding anything positive about a person, consider whose face you might have on them.  If you decide it is a parent, or a boss, or someone else from your past, identify ways the current day person is different from the one in your past.  Then “de-role” the present day person by saying to yourself, “You are not (insert the name or role of person from the past), you are (insert the name or role of the person in the present).”  After you de-role the current day person, you may be better able to identify some of their good qualities.

Also consider making lists of the positive qualities of anyone you have negative thoughts about, whether they be from your past or present.

Sometime during the week, write a post about some aspect of this topic or about your experience when focusing on seeing the good in others. Feel free to use whatever form you desire: i.e., prose, story, poem, photograph, etc.

I look forward to seeing where this challenge takes you.

The article that you link to this prompt should be a new post written specifically for this challenge.

 

General Prompt Information:

Since it is easier to make behavioral changes if we focus on them one day at a time, each of the weekly challenges will start with “Today, I focus on…….” It will be up to you to decide how long you want to focus on a particular challenge— one, two, three days or even longer. At some point during the week, publish a post that relates in some way to the subject of the week.

Link your post back to this prompt post. If the pingback doesn’t work, then leave the link to your post in the comment section of this post.  Be sure to include “Challenge for Growth Prompts” as one of your tags.

Throughout the week, I will publish the links for the posts that were created as the result of this prompt.  I will also post the links from those who participated the previous week. That way they will be seen by anyone who comes to the this page.

If you don’t have a blog, please feel free to submit your contribution to the prompt in the comment section below.

 

This week’s contributors to Looking for the Good challenge:

On Humans and Humanity- The Seeker’s Dungeon

Today I look for the good qualities in others- Journey of a Warrior Womyn

There is No “Other”- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Khuśiyōm Kī Bahār- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Through the Shadows- Nik’s Place

finding the light side (free verse)- Traces of the Soul

Challenge for Growth Prompt #2- Annette’s Place

 

Last week’s contributors to Needs vs Wants challenge:

The Bliss We Seek- The Seeker’s Dungeon

2016 Needs- Self Therapy

Needs vs Wants (Haibun)- Traces of the Soul

Resolve- Dream Cloud Diaries

Compassion’s Desires (Haibun)- Tournesol dans un Jardin

Are My Trips to Amritapuri Fulfilling a Need or a Want?- Living, Learning and Letting Go

The Needing Want- Nik’s Place

Needs vs Wants- Journey of a Warrior Womyn

My thanks goes to each of the bloggers listed above and to those of you who wrote your response to the challenge in the comments section of the challenge post.

 

To see the most recent Challenge for Growth Prompts Click Here

 

 

Make-Believe Problems

Today, I saw a cartoon on Counseling TidBits that I loved.  I asked Jane A Weiss, LCSW for permission to post it on my blog and she said “Yes.”  Thank you Jane!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

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Quote of the Week: Pir Vilayat Khan


Sufi teacher Pir Vilayat Khan asks us to view pain in this way:

220px-Vilayat_Inayat_KhanOvercome any bitterness that may have come because you were not up to the magnitude of pain that was entrusted to you.  Like the mother of the world who carries the pain of the world in her heart, each one of us is part of her heart, and therefore endowed with a certain measure of cosmic pain.  You are sharing in the totality of that pain.  You are called upon to meet it in joy instead of self-pity.

What is your reaction to his suggestion?

From:  Pir Vilayat, Khan, Introducing Spirituality in Counseling and Therapy (New York: Omega Press, 1982).

A Hole in Her Heart

She sat on the floor in the corner of the darkened room.  Her knees were curled against her chest and tears were streaming down her cheeks.

She had been in psychotherapy for some time and she had made significant changes in her life, but she felt as if she was living in-between two worlds and didn’t belong in either.  She couldn’t go back to her old life because therapy had opened her eyes to reality; returning to a state of denial was not possible.  Her prior coping skills didn’t work anymore, but her new skills weren’t solid.  She felt awkward and clumsy as she tried out new ways of being in the world.

She was even more disturbed by the emptiness she still felt in her heart.  Her therapists, group members and friends had given her so much love, yet she still felt empty.  It was as if her heart was a bucket that had a hole in the bottom.  Whatever came in, flowed out within hours.  She wondered what was wrong with her.

As she sobbed in frustration, she had no way of knowing that only a week later she would sense that the hole had sealed over.  It didn’t stay sealed, but since it had clearly happened, she would begin to have hope that the sense of emptiness would end.

As the days and weeks continued to pass by, the hole would become securely sealed and her heart would begin to fill.  Never again would she experience that overwhelming sense of emptiness.

The change you seek may be just around the corner.