3 Ways an Observer Hat Helps Me Love Better

The Think. Question. Change. Workshop just finished up.  One of the key concepts we discussed was Marilee Adam’s Question Thinking.  During a two-week time period, we exercised getting into an observer mindset to interact with our world.

As an observer, you are detached from your own thoughts and feelings.  Being able to move into an observer mindset opens up the possibility of making choices rather than reacting to the world around us.Love one another John 13:34-5

Wearing my observer hat got me thinking about how I can best live out the command to love one another. 

Give the benefit of the doubt.

When I am wearing my observer hat, I don’t judge others. I can give them the benefit of the doubt.  My nature is to judge whether I have any knowledge about the person or situation.

For example, when I see someone who is not dressed appropriately I can judge them or begin to ask questions that might lead me to love.  I have been volunteering with an organization called Dress for Success for a few years now.

The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.  Through working with these women, I have found that there is so much more going on in their lives than I can even imagine.  Offering them support by helping them with their resume or interview skills is really an act of love which will do more for them than judgement ever would.

Now my goal is to extend others that love without having to understand their situation.

Do not withhold forgiveness.

When I have my observer hat on I can’t jump to the conclusion that someone is hurting me on purpose versus just acting in ignorance.

I don’t think I have thin skin but I can get my feelings hurt, like you can I’m sure.  When we are observing someone’s behavior and looking to respond in love then we will extend grace. Giving grace beyond the place we would have if we weren’t being intentional.

Forgiveness is not fun to ask for so don’t make someone ask.  I have found that if I can offer love and forgiveness immediately I just need to do it.

If the offense needs discussion then opening the conversation with questions about what was going on when the offense took place is helpful.  Just learning the back story can often give me the understanding I need to overlook it.

Keep my word.

The other side of the coin of offering forgiveness is behaving in a way that doesn’t require others to need to forgive you.  In this busy world, we can often overlook our commitments to others.

Jesus said let your yes be yes.  Loving others includes respecting them enough to do what you say you will do.  Take the time to consider your words and actions before speaking.  Once your word is given the decision has been made- in love follow through.

I have found being a person, someone can count on is one of the most loving things I can do for others.


What areas of your life do you see that wearing an observer hat and being intentional in your actions can be loving to those around you?

 

Review by Rayna: Scary Close

Scary Close:  Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy is an interesting read and a deviation from what I usually share here.

I have been familiar with Donald Miller because of his business acumen not as a person.  After reading this book I would say I know him pretty well.  He challenges everything you know about being honest and authentic.  To be honest at times a little uncomfortable honest for me.

This book is Don sharing about his journey to that altar and how he rose to the challenge of truly revealing himself to his beloved.  Realizing he has been very good at performing and keeping people at a distance he shares his journey to making that change.  Willingness to get Scary Close was required.

He starts the book with an author’s note that says, “We will never feel loved until we drop the act, until we are willing to show our true selves to the people around us.” Author Unknown.  This is a great opener to what Don will share throughout this book.

This is not a how to book.  There are no steps to follow rather a book to walk beside Don as he shares his journey to learning to perform less, be himself more and overcome a complicated fear of being known.

I’m not sure about you but those 3 things peaked my curiosity for sure.  Don’s stories both entertains and challenges us to look at ourselves and see what choices we are making in life. Are we living true to ourselves and developing relationships with others who know who we really are or are we playing it safe and just showing those around us the person we know they will like?

Don closes with a few bold statements about love and what he has learned about it.

“We are never going to be perfect in love but we can get close.  The closer we get, the healthier we will be.” And “Love is not a game any of us can win it’s just a story we can live and enjoy.”

If you would like to enjoy a challenging yet easy read I would encourage you to get to know Donald Miller better and learn how to get Scary Close!


I would love to hear your thoughts on this book.  Please share below.

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Review by Rayna: Necessary Endings

Necessary Endings:  The employees, businesses, and relationships that all of us have to give up in order to move forward

 

From the subtitle you can tell that this book addresses both business and personal relationships.  Though it has many business examples and much wisdom to offer those in leadership it has many valuable principles and truth for everyone concerning relationships.

This is one of those books I wish I had read many years ago.  I had so many favorite parts it is hard to share just a few.

 

The principle of pruning is covered in the beginning of the book is such a practical way that it helps us to understand that it is a teaching we all need to implement in life.  I’m not a gardener but I understood the truth of how caring for plants applies to our lives.  I can see God’s hand doing this in my life at times as well.

Dr. Cloud defines pruning for us as “A function of cutting away to reduce the extent or reach of something by taking away unwanted of superfluous parts. “   Pruning is the intentional step of bringing something to a necessary ending.  There are 3 reasons to bring necessary endings to our lives:

  1. The first reason is if something is stealing resources that could be spent somewhere else that is more valuable.  Even healthy stuff can stop us from growing if there is too much of it.  We can only give some many things our time and attention.  Be sure that all the things you are focusing on are the most important to you.
  2. Secondly, if something is sick and is not likely to heal. Some relationships both at work and in your life need constant attention and nurturing.  It is ok to give them what is needed to help them heal and become a contributing part but if sick is what they want to be then a necessary ending is called from.
  3. The reason is if it is clear that something is already dead, there is no life left.  It is amazing how desperately we can hold onto things that are clearly dead sometimes.  Dr. Could encourages us to take the time to evaluate the health of relationships, this will make it harder not to identify those that are dead.

Necessary endings are required in order for us to stay healthy and to keep growing.  Dr. Cloud gives great examples of each of these in the book.

Another section of the book which I found very helpful was when Dr. Cloud laid out the 3 Kinds of people as well as their styles of behavior in chapter 7.  The way he approached this section seemed a bit harsh at first but the more I thought about the 3 behaviors the more examples from my life I could think of that affirmed his descriptions.

The 3 people are the wise, the foolish and the evil.  Dr. Cloud goes on to tell us how to determine the kind of person is we are dealing with and what to do with them.  If you are trying to figure out if an ending is necessary for a relationship you will definitely find this chapter helpful.

Dr. Cloud goes on to layout how to accomplish a necessary ending and how to process in order to move forward.


I am confident this will be a book I come back to time and time again.  I hope you will take the time to read it and then share your thoughts me with me below.