As I was browsing through Pinterest a few weeks ago I came across this challenge. At the time I was trying to find ways to prepare myself for LDS General Conference and this seemed like one way I could prepare that would be very beneficial. And ironically on the day I found this, it was exactly 14 days until Conference. I think thats what people call fate?
I was so excited to immediately take this challenge and focus on loving others. Each morning before I got out of bed I would check the prompt for the day and tried to be mindful of it the whole day. I was proud of myself for those two weeks because I did a really good job. The fourteen days are done now and its been about a week since doing it and I’m already planning on taking this challenge again. At the end of these fourteen days I actually noticed my heart felt a little lighter, I was so much less judgmental, I felt kinder and I found it easier to love or look at people positively. I highly recommend this challenge guys. If you’re serious about it, it can change you.
Day One was showing patience with someone. I learned pretty quickly on that day that ‘someone’ would be my son. He was having a rough day and it turns out so was I. I felt my patience get slimmer and slimmer as the day went on. He’s just a baby so its not like I’d lose my cool with him or anything, but I realized I definitely could be much more patient with him – especially on tough days.
Day Two was overlooking someones shortcomings. I actually chose to overlook my own shortcomings. When it comes to motherhood I am really hard on myself and often feel inadequate. I looked past those feelings of doubt and failure and my day was actually significantly better.
Day Three I was challenged to look beyond looks. This is something I try hard to do on a daily basis because my parents taught me from a young age that looks do not define a person. It was nice to think about how important that is and it also served as a reminder to me about how I want my kids to treat everyone with the same respect and kindness no matter how they look, etc.
Day Four was kind of hard. Resist the impulse to categorize others. Maybe its just me, but I found out I do this so easily and so often. Thats horrible. I had to be actively mindful about this and I forgot a lot.. But it opened my eyes to how much I need to focus on this.
Day Five was seeing a situation through someone else’s eyes. The situation I focused on is one I’m choosing not to share. But it was moving. Its always wise to consider all sides of the story. It’ll do you a world of good.
Day Six was to forgive someone who wronged you. I had a client on this day and we got to talking and during our conversation I realized I was holding a grudge against someone for something they did a YEAR ago. I knew I needed to get over it and forgive them so I could love them 100% again without always holding on to that one thing.
Day Seven was don’t criticize actions. This was very similar to Day Four except I feel like I’m not as critical of others actions. I feel like I’m pretty good at realizing everyone has their own agency and makes their own choices and that should be just fine with me. I feel like especially in motherhood, people are quick to judge a mom for the way she parents her child. I’ve been victim of this and know how awful it feels so I try to stay far away from judging others – especially parents.
Day Eight challenged me to show mercy to someone. Another personal topic – another beautiful moment thanks to this challenge (and prayers for bravery).
Day Nine was my favorite. Give ten minutes to really listen to someone. Wild Man and I had one of the best conversations this day. We both went deep into conversation, we listened to each other and it was bonding and special. That same day one of my sisters opened up to me about something and I just let her talk and vent and it was really neat to just hear her and see how her mind works and better understand her. Listening – really listening – to people is really incredible.
Day Ten focused on speaking kindly to others. I am so non confrontational and I don’t want to sound braggy, but I’m not mean nor do I speak unkindly to others. So I just focused on making sure I was extra kind, gave extra service, etc. I absolutely could have done better though..
Day Eleven – say ‘thank you’. I realized this day that I am lousy at being as grateful as I should be. I neglect saying those two simple words far too often. I’ve made it a daily goal now and it helps me feel better about myself and I genuinely think it makes the people you thank feel good too.
Day Twelve was focusing on things you have in common with people you meet. This one was fun and helped me feel close to those around me, even the strangers. It also made me want to be more friendly with everyone and get to know them or go the extra mile to leave them with a good impression of the person I am.
Day Thirteen encouraged you to offer a genuine compliment. This turned into a game. My husband, sisters and several family members through texts got messages from me all day. Complimenting others is a drug and is so much fun!
Day Fourteen was the most special day as we were challenged to see people as God sees them. Wow. God sees everyone with loving eyes. I know I do not even when I try, and it was really special to actively work on just loving everyone I saw that day. It warmed my heart and made me really want to be more Christlike than I’ve ever been. It also made me so much more grateful and aware of the love that Heavenly Father has for me. This one was the greatest testimony builder and the day I learned the most from.
I really do hope you’ll take this challenge. I’m starting again this week. Its so important to love one another and live with love.