Several weeks ago, I made a pact with myself to try and see the positive in my life. I wanted to focus on the good, the beautiful, and the true, the reflections of God's love and reality in my day-to-day experiences. I made it longer than I thought, starting the first couple weeks by writing down three things (a good, a beauty, and a truth) each night. That got to be daunting, and to be honest, I started repeating. Probably more a reflection that I needed to be aware of those positive things than my lack of imagination. So after a while, I just picked one thing each day. Looking back over the last 5 weeks or so, I've got a pretty amazing snapshot of my blessings.
7-second hugs, joyful priests, dinner with the fam, feeling appreciated, learning something new, having a job, laughter, recreation as re-creation, Catholic Stuff You Should Know podcast, sleep, living in Colorado, being greeted by a dog, minor mountain miracles, my coworkers, the resilience of the human spirit, a sense of accomplishment, setting goals that challenge you, a Broncos trip to the Super Bowl, shared passions, and connecting with total strangers
Colorado, the rescuing hug, a heart of service, a kiddo with Down's Syndrome in snowman PJ's saying 'bye', a moment of humility, the sliver of the new moon, a clean slate, a homemade gift, sunlight shining through the snow falling off the trees, the emotions that music makes you feel, sitting in the sun on a 30-degree day and feeling warm, sunrise from the 4th floor, Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, Colorado aspens, the Denver skyline framed by the Rockies, a full moon, not letting a camera interrupt the moment, a clean dog, and stars on a clear night
It gets better. I'm more willing to reveal my weaknesses to someone if I know they have a relationship with God. Words of affirmation is definitely my love language. It's comforting to know you aren't the only one struggling, no matter how small the frustration. I want something to dream, something to do, and someone to love. Adventure and passion are attractive. An act of love thaws a frozen heart. Traditions are worth establishing. I'm proud of my family. Music is good for the soul. Sometimes you just need a lazy day. Pudding chocolate chip cookies trump self-control. The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome It. No matter what we try to pull, nothing we could ever do could change the way God feels about us. I have the best coworkers. Bowing to the deacon before the blessing with incense is one of my favorite Catholic things. Protecting the family is essential to protecting a culture of life.
A pretty decent summary of my last month. My project for next month is a challenge from the priest who heard my confession today. We were discussing (read: he was talking, I was listening) the need for balance between egoism and altruism. Even Jesus looked after Himself from time to time. All those forays into the desert were "me time" for Jesus. And it made Him better at giving of Himself. You have to care for yourself, fill yourself up first, before you can care for others. So, for the next week or month or whatever, I'm going to do one thing every day for myself and one thing every day for someone else. Big or small, I'm going to try to find a balance between egoism and altruism. Check back with you at the end of the experiment.