Friday, March 17, 2017

Sunbeams in Our Lives

Today’s thoughts revolve around a phrase I just used to describe a friend: you’re a sunbeam.

Of course, I was reminded of The Temptations’ My Girl, “I've got sunshine on a cloudy day”. Now we all have that earworm to enjoy. We’ve had some gorgeous, sunny days this week but today broke wet and overcast. That dear, sweet sun is hiding for a while.

That doesn’t mean we see no sun. Just as in the song, we can feel sun-like warmth from those around us. There are people whose spirits flare brilliantly warm and comforting and we are drawn to their radiance instinctively. This person is one of those bright souls.

The cool thing is, we can all cast a glow!

Believe there is potential.

We must first have a mindset that good things can happen. With a growth mindset, there’s hope and hope is a critical weapon against the root of darkness: pessimism. If our view is fixed (thinking “That’s just the way things are.”), we see no point in trying. Sure, we may be using this technique to protect ourselves from hurt but we also shut out the opportunities to revive ourselves as well. When we look at life with some flexibility, our attitudes  and auras brighten.

Reach out to others.

There’s real truth behind the phrase “Many hands make light work”. Once we see potential in life, we can readily stretch ourselves out to our fellow human beings. Ask for help. Offer to help. Speak up. Speak out. The act of exchanging with others, whether something big or small, changes us. I’m reminded of the quilts and knit caps handmade and donated to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that comforted us with the premature birth of our first son. Solidarity lightens the heart and outlook.

Love yourself.

When we think of ourselves, it it with loving eyes? Can we look in the mirror and tell that person they are good enough now and can do good things going forward? If we can’t do that, the lenses we are using will inevitably gray down the world we see and our potential to shine. When we struggle with feelings of self-worth, we fall into that pit of pessimism I talked of in the first point.

We all see problems in the world. We all have heartaches and struggles. Some experience so much darkness I cannot even begin to know how they manage. Yet, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

It’s worth the effort to be as big of a sunbeam as we can be!

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