As I ended the song on the piano, my father burst into applause.
“Hooray! That was beautiful.”
Has anyone ever complimented you and you didn’t feel like you deserved it?
My stumbling song was far from perfect. There were accidental accidentals, labored pacing, and way too much heavy pedal blurring the tones together.
Uhhhhhhhh… it was a truly mediocre performance.
And yet there was my dad with a sensational smile on his face.
Ridiculous. So ridiculous. I used to think he was SO ridiculous.
How could he love what I had done when I hated it? Why was he clapping for all those missed notes?
In 18 years, I never remember hearing a word of criticism come from my father’s lips. Now that he’s gone, all I remember is him constantly thinking that I was the best thing he’d ever set eyes on. And it was the best feeling in the whole world.
What if you refused to find fault in someone?
Now that I’m a grown up, hundreds of people have criticized the way I look and act and do my job. Performance reviews, unsolicited advice, random comments on the street, so many people who are willing to chime in on my life.
Throughout school, I have also been trained to be a sharp critic. At work, I am surrounded by experts at criticism. I am beginning to think that maybe we are the ridiculous ones.
Because the most helpful people in my life have always been the lovers.
Think about it. Do critics inspire you? Who inspires you?
I bet it’s a lover. Lovers are going to love. Lovers are going to find the best in you.
What if you refuse to find fault in others?
Oh, boo, I know this is making some of you uncomfortable. I am not great at suspending judgement either. You want to teach. You want to guide. You criticize because you want to be HELPFUL.
BUT GUESS WHAT???
People are running their faults through their heads every day like vampire computer programs draining their energy and joy. People are criticizing themselves to the point where they are terrified to engage with other people. People really don’t need criticism.
PEOPLE NEED LOVE. BE A LOVER. LOVE.
What if you looked at people and saw them as perfect? What if you listened to adults in your life like they were little children sitting at the piano, struggling, searching for notes, trying so hard to please you?
What if, no matter what someone offered you, you were grateful? Because they shared it with you? Because they offered you a bit of their heart?
Beautiful reader: What if you refuse to find fault this week? What if, this week, you try to love others, no matter what? What if you believe that people are doing the best they can? And… What if, this week, you refuse to find fault in yourself? Could you find only the good?
I’m talking about unconditional love. Love without condition.
If you have experienced it, you know how wonderful it feels. If you have a dog, you get it.
But hey, gorgeous human, it’s never too late to be a human lover. It’s never too late to be a human who loves humans.
Hey, boo, I’m challenging you this week: Refuse to find a single fault in anyone. See how it feels.