You know that old saying about seeing the world with rose colored glasses on? Of course it refers to people who are only seeing what they want to see, and missing the negatives. But people who are feeling lonely, depressed, or negative all the time are definitely wearing a different pair of glasses. Lets call those the “Victim” glasses. They go through their lives taking every negative thing personally. The person who cuts them off in traffic or doesn’t allow them to merge is one more jerk out to destroy them or make them miserable. Depression and anger does that to us. Depression makes us feel like victims. Anger makes us feel out of control.
I had a beautiful young woman in my office yesterday. One of many I have seen with eating disorders. She sees herself as fat no matter how thin she is, she dwells every day in the misery of her hunger and weakness, because she sees food as her enemy and eating it as a weakness and lives in such fear of obesity that she could die of starvation. This is an extreme case of course, but is a perfect example of how the “glasses” we wear every day distort our perceptions of what is real, in front of us, available and good. How is this pair of glasses different than the one who sees everyone as out to hurt them and walks around in constant pain? Or that see themselves as fat and repulsive which is far more common for women? Very few of us actually achieve the body perfections we see on tv and magazines. But if you take off those glasses skewing your vision, you can actually look for different images that will blow your mind if you notice them! You can actually find dozens of imperfect people around you every day that actually seem happy. I try to explain to people all the time that you don’t have to look attractive to everyone, you just need to find one person who is able to see the beauty in your soul! And to do that, you need to let the beauty shine! You don’t have to look beautiful to be beautiful. You have to feel good about yourself and feel you have something to offer others. And by the way, look at the people who are perpetually alone? They might be overly concentrating on other’s appearances and as a result rejecting the people who might provide some companionship. I was doing a presentation to a group of singles for a dating organization, and a 68 year old woman was talking to me afterwards about a man she had met on a park bench earlier that day. She had ended up talking to him for 3 hours, but said she would never think of dating such a person because of one physical attribute he had. I had to laugh to myself, here she said she was tired of being alone, and had just met someone whose company she enjoyed and rejected them. Love is about friendship and companionship. Attraction is lovely but with time and maturity, the majority of the time spent in relationships is about emotional intimacy, not physical intimacy.
What glasses are you wearing? Are you constantly walking around wearing “ugly” “unlovable” “victim” or “angry” glasses? The glasses you are looking at the world with define your feelings about yourself and your ability to connect with others. If you’re feeling badly about yourself, you avoid eye contact, you avoid conversations, and you avoid a million ways to connect with others who are good people. Not every one of us will be lucky to find that “perfect” partner, and partly that is because we have to have faith in ourselves and others in order to do so. We have to be able to take the leap to trust that actually the vast majority of people in the world are good, and their being nice to you doesn’t always mean they want something from you. Who do you love? Are those people perfect? Is perfection attainable? Seeking perfection is another way to doom yourself to failure, it’s impossible! Look up and around you. Watch the people who seem happy. Yes, they have found a way to navigate the world in spite of all the tremendous fears it holds. They have a found a way to be okay in spite of all their imperfections. And they have found ways to love others in spite of those peoples imperfections. They have found acceptance in themselves and the world. Perhaps you could just take off those glasses for a little while, long enough to look around you. Go somewhere where there are lots of people and watch them. Happy successful people get that way because at some point they believed in themselves enough to get out there and find what makes them happy. For some of us this is something that requires us to work at it, and maybe the first step might just be to take off those grey glasses!