In a world so fraught with imperfection, pain, hate, sickness, and death, where can I go to experience true beauty, love, peace, and eternality?
In front of me there is a plethora of ills on which to focus.
I do get sucked into that. I get up early to write and I end up in tears because all around me I see things that have gone awry.
I have to stop and make it my assignment each day to go on a scavenger hunt for moments of beauty and goodness.
Those moments are there just as much as the negative things. It’s so easy to dwell on what is not good and get dragged down into the morass. And end up in tears first thing in the morning. I end up in tears more often than you might think.
Crying over the world and my own life too often is like steeping myself in hopelessness and I don’t want to live without hope. I know that I am here with purpose and my purpose is not to reflect more negativity into the world. I can shine a spotlight on evil and sadness, but it is not productive to then mirror those things.
Instead, I can shine the spotlight in hopes of peering not at the bad things, but at the good things hiding all around amongst the bad things. They are there. I just have to be looking for them.
One of the things that can radically change our self-awareness is writing things down. So if I want to understand what has happened in my life, I write down a timeline. It’s crazy how this works – because you think you know what happened and you think you have it all in your head. But there is something supernatural that happens when you put it down in such a way that you can engage your senses.
First, writing slows down time. You can only write one word at a time of some crazy scene that happened in your life. That slows things down so much that you can examine the scene with crystal clarity and reveal some pretty amazing insights.
You see the words with your eyes. You read them with your voice. Your body feels the feelings again and you feel them a different way when you share the words with a trusted friend.
This kinetic awareness of your reality changes things.
One of the things that makes you successful in losing weight is writing down everything you eat. It’s not to count calories so much as it is to bring awareness of what you are consuming. People like me who struggle with their weight often suffer from unconcious eating. So writing everything down forces your conscious mind to be aware and accountable of your choices. Once again, kinetic awareness of reality, and it changes things.
My thought this morning is that by writing down the good things I see through the day, I can bring kinetic awareness to my knowledge of goodness, and the evil will fade in comparison.
In the common vernacular it’s called counting your blessings. But not just in my head. On paper. In black and white. Where I can see it.
I have a spacious home to live in, with floors and a roof that doesn’t leak.
I have more food than I need.
I have a husband.
I have a husband who loves me and cares for me and puts me first.
I have children.
They love me and I love them.
I have a vehicle.
It has air conditioning.
My home has air conditioning.
I have a refrigerator that works and there is food in it.
I have some money in my purse.
I have chickens in my yard and they lay eggs each day.
I am closer to God as a result of the challenges I have experienced in the past year.
In the midst of personal horror I have seen God’s hand in an “in your face” way that increases my faith.
I can hear my wind chimes singing anytime a breeze blows through the boughs of the oak tree outside my bedroom window.
There’s a staghorn fern hanging from the tree and it is very happy there.
My daughter comes into our room to tell me goodbye before she leaves for work.
My husband and I have long conversations over coffee every morning.
The Florida sky is lovely, morning, noon, and night.
From the moment the sun rises, there are birds making music.
Every breath is a new opportunity to rise above.
Image courtesy of Ian Schneider