It would be inaccurate to claim that taking a moment and looking at pictures I enjoy and writing something that reminds me of the good things in life is always enough for me to be happy and content. Sometimes, on the days when these gentle reminders to myself (and perhaps others) are most needed, they are simply an effort to stop actively looking at how difficult, depressing and ugly things feel at a given moment.
It's ok if you're feeling down and not feeling like smiling. It's ok if you don't want to pretend for everyone else that you're fine. But, it is also important that you remember things that make it worth the effort to get through those down times. It is important to keep that light at the end of the tunnel visible - even if it is just in the corner of your eye.
|When the hole you are in gives you no hope, broaden your view and look outside that hole.|
We were considering calling a halt to our farming operation at the time. While that might sound depressing and sad, our willingness to consider moving away from what we were doing actually allowed us to look outside the hole we were in. We were still unhappy about how things were going. But, we gave ourselves permission to look elsewhere - and found a glorious sunset on the farm.
I wonder how many of these I might have missed as I walked to and fro on the farm, looking at my feet as they sank into the mud?
|Enduring some discomfort can lead to rewards you would have missed if you only lived for comfort.|
I suspect, however, that most people say no to some discomfort far too often and they miss out on some wonderful things in the process.
|Take the time to get a different perspective and you might also gain a new appreciation.|
Looking at things from new perspectives isn't always comfortable because it can shake your personal assumptions. But, once you process what you have observed, you will walk away richer for the experience and more able to relate positively to a broader range of people and places.
|Be silent. Be patient. And wait for the magic to happen.|
Iowa can have some pretty amazing sunsets. If you are outside frequently, you begin to understand and recognize the signs that a beautiful sunset is on its way. With chores to be done at the end of the day, it can be hard to justify stopping and just watching as the sun slips between the clouds and the horizon. But, I have yet to regret it when I give myself permission to do so.
|Keep setting new goals and creating new dreams. Then make the time and create the energy to go get them.|
|Learn and relearn how to appreciate and celebrate someone else's achievements without allowing them to taint your own (and vice versa)|
Summarized that way, it certainly seems pretty shallow, but I know it runs deeper than that. If you spend your time comparing your own accomplishments with others, it has a tendency to allow yourself to either dwell on your shortcomings or to dwell on the shortcomings of others. While it is not necessarily bad to identify problems, it is quite another to focus on them to the exclusion of all else. Comparisons are useful for learning and improvement. But, don't let the comparison prevent you from celebrating about has been done and what has been accomplished thus far.