What Can You Learn From A Dirty Dish?


The theater of life plays itself out on your inner stage. You are the director, producer and star of the production, but most importantly…you are also the screenwriter.

Think about it. The same event can happen to a thousand people and each one will interpret it differently. One person may only see misfortune and feel despair, while another feels compassion and takes action to help the suffering.

Are any of their interpretations wrong or deficit in some way?

To answer that question requires judging it, which is the cause of the problem in the first place. It is when we judge ourselves or another that our perspective becomes skewed and off center.

Can we change our interpretation of an event? The answer, fortunately for us, is a resounding YES!

Just because you always see some thing one way does not mean that you can’t train your self to see it differently. The key is to first identify your judgement then decide on something else. Let me give you an example.

If your significant other always seems to leave dirty dishes in the sink, and you interpret that as lack of respect or laziness, every time you see a dirty dish in the sink, you will immediately feel irritated. To break this cycle, you have to first recognize your initial reaction to the dirty dish, then decide to react differently.

“But I know he’s doing that just to irritate me,” you might be thinking.

Do you really know that for a fact? Even if he told you that, it probably was not the real reason. Surface statements seldom reveal the true motivation behind someone’s actions.

“But I have asked him nicely and even begged him to wash his dishes!” you cry in frustration. “What else can I do?”

Great question! You now see that you cannot make him change. In fact, the harder you try, the more he resists… which leads to arguments, blame, and all kinds of misinterpretations and misconceptions.

It is time to try another approach. One that will you peace of mind and resolve the issue.

Simply change your mind about the dirty dishes.

The next time you see a dirty dish in the sink that you did not leave, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Picture the dirty dish as a love letter from your significant other, complete with your favorite flower growing out of it. Then open your eyes and look at the dish with all of love you can muster. When your thoughts automatically start up with the same, tired judgments (I can’t believe he did this to me again; He’s so lazy) immediately replace those thoughts with ones of love and forgiveness.

Take another deep breath and smile at the dirty dishes. Yes, smile! Now see how you feel. You should be more at peace and calm. And the dirty dishes do not become a flag thrown down to taunt you.

Faithfully practice This technique for at least 7 days (longer if you can). You will begin to notice that you can reach your calm place much faster after you have consistently practiced this new perspective.

Don’t say anything to your significant other about what you are doing. Just work on yourself and see what happens. More than likely, he will start washing his dishes on his own, without you asking him. And you can smile and accept this gift of love that you gave to yourself.

This simple technique can be applied to anything in your life. Remember, you are the screenwriter of your life – if you don’t like something, try to see it from a different perspective, preferably from a standpoint of unconditional and accepting love.

Who knew a dirty dish could be so wise?

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2 thoughts on “What Can You Learn From A Dirty Dish?

  1. It always amazes me to see how often people equate “love” with “he does everything I ask him to, the way I ask him to do it.” And conversely that not doing it expresses lack of love. I love your insight that the key is to change your thoughts about the issue. I believe you can’t change people you can only change you and your reactions.

    • It took me a long time to let go of my expectations of other people. Once I finally realized that no matter how hard I tried to change someone else, it was never going to be what I expected, I found peace in my relationships. My motto is “Seek not to change the world. Seek to change your mind about the world.”. Living by that motto encourages peaceful co-existence.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love your site and have learned a lot about chrakas from your last series!

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