“She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful.” ~ Terri St. Cloud
True, majestic, beauty. I took the above image by the side of the road outside Silverthorne, Colorado on the drive home that I have driven at last three hundred times in my life. I had my music playing, enjoying my road trip, windows down when I happened to glance out, slam on my brakes and capture what took my breath away. Since then I’ve remembered to always keep not just my iPhone on me, but my actual, good old fashioned, camera so that I never miss moments like this. This is still one of my favorite photo’s I’ve taken as to me it captures all that Colorado stands for and reminds me to make sure I never forget the beauty around me.
What I’ve learned over my years of many struggles, like all humans, is that beauty is in the details, but only if you take the time to look for them. We honestly live in a messy, complicated, unfair, nasty, world, but our perspective can make a difference. I make it a point to daily, every night before I put my daughter to bed, not only pray for what we are grateful for but also journal together about what we’ve learned, overcome, accomplished and take a few minutes to express our creativity. I look forward to that time of my day more than anything, even Starbucks, which says a lot. At the end of an exhausting day, it can be easy to want to drown my sorrows by ranting, drinking, eating, watching reality tv or doing some other non-constructive activity. But, I’m realizing when I journal about what I’m grateful for, breath deep and not keep my phone in my bedroom, I go to sleep much happier.
I recently read a powerful article in Psychology Today that made me hopeful. The gist of the research concluded that there’s hard biological evidence that breakups present an opportunity for growth. It went on to note that rejection ricochets through a number of neural systems, that stir emotional chaos of pain, loss, and longing, but also turns on higher-order brain networks that facilitate learning. I found this encouraging because many times failed relationships can leave us feeling defeated and broken to the point where its hard to trust ourselves again. Each of us has the choice to look at struggles in life as a learning experience and most importantly an opportunity for personal growth. Some of my best friendships have stemmed from sharing painful experiences and when you feel like someone understands your pain it’s a powerful connection that cannot be ignored. While we have to choose wisely who we open ourselves up to, don’t afraid to show others your scars, that’s what we all need to develop, vulnerability draws others to us and is what all relationships evolve from. When you go through challenges, loss, mistakes, try to honestly look at what you can learn from it.
The bottom line is this; I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but I’ll repeat, as I’m constantly trying to live this truth, life is ten percent circumstance and ninety percent attitude. Look for joy in the tiniest detail, be thankful you lived another day, cherish those around you, focus on that one person you made smile, a small accomplishment you had, a tiny blessing you experienced, a song that brings back a good memory, a quote that resonated truth, but most of all never forget life is a gift and only you can choose whether to be happy.