A few years ago, the show “Storage Wars” featured a guy who found a tiny pair of antique glasses in his storage area. He was intrigued, so he completed some research to find out more about them. It turns out they were rose-tinted glasses invented by farmers in the 1940”s to solve their problem of their chicken’s pecking each other to death. Apparently, chickens are cannibalistic, and if they see the slightest sight of blood on a fellow chicken, they will peck that hen to death! The farmers were losing so many chickens that they needed a solution. So, they made these tiny glasses with hinged lenses so that when the chicken leaned forward to eat, gravity would cause the lens to flip away from the eye so they could see their food, but when they stood up the lens would flip back down over the eye. These “rose-tinted” glasses neutralized the sight of blood. If the chickens didn’t see the blood, they didn’t peck each other.
Aren’t we like those chickens? When we see a flaw in someone else, especially a child, we want to peck at them to make them change. Our constant criticizing, ridiculing, and punishing can quite literally peck the spirit out of our child! The same goes for our spouse or significant other…that’s why it’s called being “hen-pecked”. My thought is that we need a new lens through which to see others. I call it a “trauma lens”.
When looking through this lens, I can see others from a new perspective. I try to imagine what could possibly be going on in this person’s life. When the waitress is not as accommodating as I feel she should be, I wonder, “Has she been working overtime for too many days in a row? Did she just get a call from her child’s school? Did she receive word last night that her sister has cancer? Is her home being foreclosed on? Or maybe she has a nagging headache!” You could even call this a love lens, since you will be seeing the other person through a lens of love that neutralizes their negative behavior. So, try looking at your child, you partner, your boss…. through a love lens today!
-- Laura Slagle, LMFT, copyright 2016