Day 52/100 #100daysofseedsoflight
Yesterday afternoon I attended a reception for an organization I’m involved with; the reception was lovely and crowded, and I got to see lots of people I know and like and don’t see very often. I was standing under a tree talking to a woman I know casually from my career in nonprofit management way back when; we were talking about life and work and she was asking me about my family and about being an artist, and she said “So are you living the life?“ And I don’t know if I was aware as it was happening, but this morning in the shower I was reflecting on the conversation and I realized I went straight to the negative. I told her about how hard it is to self generate all of the work, about how promotion doesn’t come easily to me, about how raising teenagers is challenging. And as I reflected on the conversation this morning, I was surprised and appalled. I was leading with the hard things, instead of sharing all of the beautiful wonderful goodness I know is there.
Why do we do this to ourselves and to each other? Why do we go naturally to the negative? Do we think we have to prove something to each other? Do we think if we say what’s good people will think our lives are too easy? Do we worry people will think less of us somehow if we are not facing adversity? Do we worry about bragging or sounding boastful? Does facing challenges give us credibility in today’s world? I wonder.
I recognize this behavior among so many people I encounter, and in myself too - that we tell each other what’s hard instead of telling each other what is beautiful. That it’s often more comfortable for us to say “Ugh,” than it is to say “Wow.” And I am here to say let’s say “Wow.”
Let’s say “Wow” to ourselves and to each other. Let’s tell ourselves and tell each other what’s beautiful, what’s good, what went right in our days, what delighted us and what made us smile. Without bragging, without fear of judgement, and with sincerity and hope that the practice will spread sparks of happiness across the land. Let’s do it, one at a time, and together let’s make it ok to share our goodness - our simple pleasures, our true joys, our successes and our hopes and our dreams.