I have had a lovely week this week: I have spent time with friends that I love and haven’t seen for a while, I have been working with people I really enjoy working with, and I have seen a wonderful art exhibition as a special treat. There are also all the everyday miracles: my cat is now well, the vegetables from my garden are delicious, the sun has warmed me, the rain has watered my garden for me, and lots of things have made me laugh. And this is an ordinary week, which also had some not so good moments.
Like all of us, I can look at this week in a lot of different ways, depending on my mood, and the things that have affected me most. Yet culturally, we are trained to notice more of the everyday lacks and irritations, rather than the delights and abundances. So it takes a conscious effort to choose to view our world and our lives as abundant and pleasurable.
When I switch on my tv, I am shown all the things I don’t have, and what is wrong with others and myself, how we are all not good enough, how we all don’t have enough. When I ask people how they are, they tend to tell me the things that are not right, with them or the world. It is the ‘not enough’ syndrome gone mad! Not done enough work, not got enough money, not been kind enough to others ( or ourselves!), not good enough at what I do – the list goes on and on.
And yes, there are many areas where we are not as good as we might be, where the world is not as good as it might be, where we feel lacks, in ourselves, in others, in the world. Yet there are also many moments of abundance, when we are just lovely, when others are kind and delightful, when the world shows its wonder rather than its horror.
When we pay attention to what’s wrong or lacking, we make ourselves feel bad, and risk missing the opportunities for miracles to occur. It doesn’t help us to live our lives well, because it sends us back into the sort of mood that perpetuates the feeling of lack and wrongness.
This is not about wearing rose-tinted spectacles – we don’t have to pretend that everything is rosy, and nothing is wrong. We can recognise the bad bits, without getting caught by them. If we are going to get caught on something, let’s get caught on the good bits! They will help us keep a good frame of mind, so we can deal with the bad bits more constructively, and they will remind us to keep the bad bits in perspective.
Why not join me for a few days in choosing to notice the gifts of your life, the everyday miracles that occur. We may not need to change the world, just view it differently!