I am of the firm belief that good is all around.
Just like William Yeats says it is “waiting on our senses to grow sharper.”
I am also under no illusion that the world is also full of pain, disappointment, cruelty, hate and greed.
The difference is that I do not believe that the two of these things are mutually exclusive. We live in this tension everyday.
The Hebrew Bible book of Ecclesiastes holds this tension well for us:
1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
While both are always present and often time holding us in the middle of their tension, I believe that we have an opportunity to see the world more through the lens of one or the other.
In the 2018 article “Understanding the Psychology of Positive Thinking” Kendra Cherry notes that positive thinking starts with how one explains their circumstances and situation.
It boils down to whether the glass is half empty or half full.
Here are a few ways to look around and see a bunch of overflowing glasses:
Cut the Clutter- When I say cut the clutter I mean in everything. Most of us are completely submerged in clutter. We clutter our lives with unbelievable amounts of unnecessary and periphery things. Our homes have way too much stuff, it suffocates us and costs us our freedom- start with the 30 Day challenge and see where you end up! Our relationships are usually a mile wide and an inch deep- declutter your relationships by moving away from unhealthy, unhelpful and non beneficial relationships. Our time is monopolized by things that we do not care about and that do not ultimately matter to who we are and who we are becoming- Cut the clutter on your calendar, get rid of the things that not accomplishing your goals and fit in with your priorities. Create space and do not fill it. Decluttering is not an exercise so that you can reclutter with other things, people, activities, value and protect the space that is created.
Stop, Breathe and Look- Literally do this, Stop. Breathe. Look Around. Most of us go through each day with our heads down trying to get from point A to point B as quickly and painlessly as possible. When you declutter your life you will find yourself with a less hectic schedule, less busy pace, and more time to just be. Stopping is not enough, however, you also need to breathe in and breathe in deeply. Intentional breathing resets our minds, gets us away from the monkey mind/pace and allows to actually take in the moment. When you look, notice details and deeply take in what is happening around you. Do not just see trees, notice the rustling of the leaves, the birds and squirrels, the bark and the small details that make up the whole. Do this with all that is around you.
Value It All- See the people around you for what they are: beautiful, created and deeply valuable. See, hear and be present with them. Look and listen deeply, see their essence, look deeply into their eyes and see not a collection of caractitures of the person but the deeper core of their being. Value the experiences, try to engage them without judgement and see where they lead you and what they have to tell you. Stop living in the past or the future. Do not preoccupy yourself with what could have been or what could be but rather what is. Look for the beauty in all things. Move past utilitarian relationships with what surrounds us and instead treat people and things with appreciation, care, love and respect. See their intrinsic value and be grateful for your opportunity to partake in it.
See the Good today.