The best question I’ve discovered to develop emotional health is: “Where is the good?” This question helps remind us that there is good in all things, and being able to find the positive makes them easier to forgive and accept. This week I discovered a new question: “Is this a blessing?” where the term ‘blessing’ is meant to describe something as a benefit rather than ordinary or a hindrance. This question is very important for two main reasons. First, if something is a blessing to you, you will treat it differently than if you see it as a curse. For instance, if you view your spouse as a blessing you will see this person with appreciation and respect, and when faced with conflict, you will strive to bring healing to the relationship. On the other hand, if you don’t consider your spouse a blessing, you can take him or her for granted, be mean and cold, and even walk away without guilt. I personally would argue that many divorces and upsets are the result of these two major problems:
- We don’t see the blessing we have. (This is the most likely case.)
- We rush into a major decision settling for whatever is there and thereby miss out on a blessing that could have come our way if we had waited. (This being said, if you vow to be with someone forever in marriage or sign a contract for something this question doesn’t matter anymore; you need to focus on the other question, ‘where is the good?’)
The second reason this question is so great is because it helps when confronted with major decisions. For instance, the other week my girlfriend was looking at a house she really liked. Unfortunately, this was a house that left her real estate agent saying, “I wouldn’t do it.” It was a house that left me saying, “Please don’t do it.” And it was a house that left her mom saying, “Um, well… uh, the flowers are pretty.” Women tend to be nicer about these things. When the owners were asked if they would lower the price because of the many bright and shiny red flags surrounding the house they refused to budge. Because my girlfriend really liked it, however, she was still tempted. She continued to think about buying it because she could see the potential (I applaud her positive thinking). Unfortunately, the house was a disaster. Amazingly, instead of saying this to her and making her feel dumb, I had a rare moment of male intelligence and simply asked her if she thought this house was a blessing. This caught her off guard. In response she asked me how she would know if it was. Here are two tips for knowing if something is a blessing:
- Is it a great deal or a disaster in disguise?
- Do the people I respect see it as a blessing?
Because the house had been up for sale for two months while other houses are selling in a day during this busy house selling season, she had wondered if this was a sign the house was a blessing for her. That makes sense. Unfortunately, because her real estate agent, her mom, and her incredible boyfriend (so incredible) who are not emotionally involved in the house didn’t like all the red flags with the house, this was clearly not a blessing. In fact, this house didn’t sell because all of the other potential buyers saw the same risks. Thus, it wasn’t a blessing; it was a lemon.
This week may you start to treat the blessings in your life as such, and may you make future decisions with wisdom by asking ‘is this a blessing?’ in order to prevent a disaster in disguise.
ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people