Earlier this week I saw something that said we need to look for the light in others and then treat them as if that is the only thing we can see. I'm sure we've all heard something along these lines before, but this time it really resonated with me. People that we don't know very well are usually treated at the very least with civility. But I think that when we get to know someone better, regardless of the nature of the relationship, we enter a honeymoon phase with them. When we make a new friend that we just click with, we spend more time with that person and enjoy all their positive traits. Whenever we meet a new romantic partner, we look at them through rose colored glasses and call it love.
Then, inevitably, the honeymoon is over and we can easily begin to take those relationships for granted. I see it frequently in family dynamics as well. Either we stop spending so much time in that relationship, or we get so comfortable we forget to be polite and we can forget why those people attracted us in the first place. Over time, it can be easier to focus more and more on the negative traits that we forget to fully appreciate the good, or even the fact that people are multi-faceted beings.
Speaking of positive and negative, those are typically things that are categorized from an individual's perspective. We take a trait and label it depending on our reaction to that trait when the truth of the matter is, it is all neutral. In studying hand writing analysis, I learned that traits are traits are traits. If someone has signs of stubbornness, its neutral. It could mean that they are difficult to argue with because they don't see other's perspectives very easily, but it could also mean that they are stubbornly loyal in their relationships. It isn't positive or negative because I can't attach a feeling to it.
There are things that obviously shouldn't be ignored. Things like violent tendencies, a lack of empathy, or maliciousness to name a few. It is important not to blind yourself to a dangerous person or situation. But if you are having difficulty treating someone with love and compassion, maybe its not a bad idea to focus on their good side and think about what makes that person a beautiful soul. Its easier said than done, but learning how to take the emotion out of a judgement is a worthwhile practice.