Technology has altered how we connect, even down to our language. Just a few years ago the word selfie would have conjured up confusion, but now it's a fairly common term. There are countless pictures on social media sites of self-portrait photos and they have an added entertainment value because many of them unintentionally capture something humorous in the background. When the subject of a picture is also the one performing the action of taking the picture, the focus is not on the background. In a selfie, the full setting appears in the end product—the image—even if that isn't the intent. When we focus our attention on ourselves, the impact extends far beyond what we intend and what we can see.
Over the last few years I made a commitment to live honestly. I knew that this commitment would be challenging. When I decided to take a serious look in the mirror my focus was self-improvement so every aspect of my life came into view. It wasn't enough for me to live honestly when it was comfortable and convenient to live honestly. I had to look at the whole setting—the totality of my life. Once I made the appropriate and necessary changes to the areas requiring my immediate attention, my focus extended and I was faced with increasingly difficult choices and many of them involved my relationships.
When I committed to authenticity, my truth impacted those around me. I knew some relationships would be strengthened and others would falter. Instead of placing my attention on the relationships that would not grow as I did, I made a conscious decision to reinforce relationships with those who would support me throughout. After I shifted my focus I felt strong enough to stand with those who would unconditionally stand with me. My decision to live my truth meant recognizing the truth about those around me.
When we improve, we require those around us to make a choice—accept and encourage our growth or long for what was. The mirror we place in front of ourselves also reflects those closest to us. As we pay close attention to what is shown in our reflection, we also see the people around us with improved clarity. Some will live in the truth with us and others will step out of the frame.
Read last week's post, Extend Grace.