Saturday I attempted to clean the windows in my house. I say “attempted” because I am not sure I actually accomplished the task. If my neighbors were looking my way, I am sure they wondered what on earth I was doing. I was outside, inside, outside, inside, back outside…..you see the pattern here? I would diligently wash one side, wipe it dry….race back to the other side….wash, dry….race to the other side only to see a “streak”. I would then race to the other side, wipe it down further….race back inside…perform a “streak” check. If the streak was still there, I would wash it again…wipe it dry….race to the other side……on and on this cycle goes. In five hours, I managed to wash five windows. Five. Five standard household windows. Five. Five windows in a standard sun room.
This morning as I sat in my sun room, I was annoyed by each little streak in the windows. The sun boldly illuminated each flaw, allowing the streaks to bathe in the sunlight, dancing happily as their presence taunted me. As I sat there, I was reminded of the frustrations many people feel as they chase the “streaks” in their life. We all have them. Little things that we try to change, alter…fix, eliminate, but yet, the “little thing” still exists. No matter how hard we try to erase them, they reappear.
We can chase them from side to side, carefully erasing their existence, only to discover them again on the opposite side. So, what do we do? We must learn to accept the things we can not change, and appreciate the beauty that lives on the outside of the window pane. When I look through the windows, I see the beautiful red bird that calls the tall pine tree at the edge of my yard, home. I see scattered dog toys on the ground,left from an afternoon of romping play. I see two squirrels engaged in a game of chase, along the top of the fence, with their tails swishing as the scamper along. I see the beautiful bright sun, casting it’s beam across the water in the creek behind my house. The bright blue sky yields to the lone, white puffy cloud that skips across the sky.
Suddenly, the streaks in the windows are humbled by the what lies outside of its limited existence. Sometimes, what we see, is what we are looking for. If we choose to focus on the flaws in ourselves and others , that is all we will see. We will miss the opportunity to see the good and beautiful that lives outside of the flaws.
The same holds true with all aspects of a person. We can choose to focus on the disease, deformity,or ailments of a person, and forget that there is so much more to the person than a diagnosis. Even with those suffering from dementia, if we can look past the current state of confusion, and reflect back on the man or woman he or she used to be….choosing to remember the beautiful instead of focusing on the toll the disease has taken on them. I say it again; what we see depends on what we are looking for.
Choice. It is all about choice. I choose to look past the streaks in the windows. I refuse to allow them to diminish the beauty that lies past them. The streaks are there, but they can not control what I choose to see.
In life, what we see in every situation, depends on what we are looking for. We can spend our time focusing on the negatives……or we can look for the good, the beautiful and unlimited possibilities of seeing things in a different way.
Tonight as I sit in the sun room, the shiny windows reflect my own shadow….there are no streaks visible, no flaws……just bright, clear glass……I sit and admire my work...the windows look amazing.