Today is my birthday. Today I will receive gifts from the people who love me, and despite the fact that I’m a grown man, I must admit to still feeling excited like a little kid when it comes to opening presents on My Special Day.
I’ve received a lot of gifts during my 44 year stay here, and as I’ve gotten older, I find I’ve become grateful more for the thought that went in to the gift than the gift itself. Having given a lot of gifts during this same 44 trips around the sun, I recognize that time and effort goes into the whole gift-giving thing, and so when I see what others have done for me, I am touched, and I am grateful.
As I have mentioned in this blog before, I have a mission in life today. My mission is to co-create a joyful world by finding and sharing the good in all things — including myself. It’s more than just being an optimist — it’s actually nothing like that. Being an optimist seems (to me) to be a person who always sees the glass as half full — who always looks on the bright side. That’s not me. My first response, my first reaction to something is generally the opposite of that — to find what’s wrong with something, to notice the flaw, to see it as a challenge. That’s my default setting — after years of conditioning, that’s how I looked at life.
So I don’t consider myself an optimist. And that’s why my mission is important for me — because for me to find the good in all things takes work. It takes effort. It takes consciousness. It takes me paying attention to what my mind and my body are saying and feeling, and take purposeful, contrary action to the negativity they want to create.
So for me to find the good in all things is not always easy — especially with that whole “including myself” part. Finding the good in other people can be challenging; finding the good in myself is sometimes impossible. It’s all part of that negative conditioning I spent most of my life in. It takes time and effort to undo that.
I’m getting better at it today – finding the good is easier than it use to be. I recognize it has much to do with how I’m choosing to create my experience of life today, and just like a muscle, the more I use it, the stronger it gets. So today I can find the good without too much difficulty.
Sharing the good is now where my work is. For me to be truly living my mission, I must share what I find. One of the circles I sit in has a saying about living a peaceful, spiritual life: “You gotta give it away to keep it.” It is in the spirit of this that I find “sharing the good” to be a worthy part of my mission. For when I experience grace, it is not mine to possess, and if I’m lucky, I get to share it with someone else. Sharing the good increases it, magnifies it, and allows it to come back to me again.
It is with this in mind that I have added a new page to this blog. You’ll see “Sharing the Good” at the top of the screen on the menu bar. Please click the link to see the first in what I hope will be a long list of really good things I find in the world.
Thanks for reading today. And thanks for sharing my birthday, and helping me to live my mission.
Time to go open some presents.