Keeping the Peace not the Pieces

People can be confusing sometimes, the way that they think about and look at the world doesn’t make sense to me (remember I am perfect!). They have this peculiar habit of only looking at what is broken or missing.

You call to catch up with a friend when they return from vacation, and they tell you, “The hotel was great BUT the bedroom was too small.” Or they come back from a wedding or party and they tell you, “It was lovely BUT the music was way too loud.” Why does there always have to be a “but”. Can’t we just butt out the but?!

That little word focuses us on what is missing or broken and takes over. I remember being taught in a leadership course, that when you give someone an evaluation you are never allowed to you use the word but, because is cancels out the first half of the sentence. If you say, “You gave a great presentation BUT you spoke to fast,” you are really saying that it was no good.

I love my husband, he is so thoughtful BUT he is so forgetful. My wife is the most considerate person I know BUT she is always late. When we pay attention to the missing parts we are in danger of neglecting all the positives. We can’t be happy about our spouses or grateful for what they do because we are fixated by what we have decided they are lacking.

The Hebrew word for whole (shaleim) has the same root as the word for peace (shalom), when we see our spouses as a whole we will see the greatness that is that person and will be able to live in peace with them. When we focus on the missing pieces (chelek) we create division and strife (machloket). Our job is to create peace in the home by learning to focus on the good traits and good habits they have.

Perfect marriages are not formed by perfect people, they come when imperfect people choose to be happy.

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