You know those cheerful emails full of positive energy that circulate on the Internet?

Posted: February 22, 2013 in Popular Culture et al, Religion
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is goodness, for you? Focus on that.

What is goodness, for you? Well: focus on that.

Well, now and again, those internet homilies are gold: this one really struck me as both true, and helpful.

I know people generally read my blog for wacky news, hard news, poetry and politics – and not for philosophising – but I really liked this – it talked to me – so just this once, indulge me, eh?

Let goodness flow

The past is over, so let yourself be at peace with it.
Free your energy to be used in making the most of right now.

The future has not yet been determined, so don’t waste your
thoughts worrying about what might or might not happen. Fill
your heart and your thoughts with sincere gratitude, and tap
into the enormous abundance of this day.

Move quickly beyond regret, resentment and anger. Choose instead to
point the power of your feelings in positive, life-enriching directions.

The quality of your life and the welfare of your world
depend on the direction in which your awareness is focused.
So make it your choice to focus on the most positive and
meaningful possibilities.

What you hold in your heart has a significant influence on
what you experience in your life. Open yourself to love,
peace, beauty, truth and caring, and let them continually
fill you.

Let life’s goodness flow in, and then let it flow out from
you with your own special goodness added to it. Feel the
goodness, live the goodness, and make more of it
with each passing day.

I love that image of life’s goodness flowing in, to which we add a dash of our own goodness, and then let it flow out again. Like the ebb and flow of waves on the beach that is our life.

Sometimes, when things are very dark, or frightening, it can be almost impossible to perceive those waves of goodness breaking on our shore, or to find the spark of goodness inside us to pass on to others.

Let goodness wash over you ...

Let goodness wash over you …

Yet the goodness is always there – it exists just beyond the borders of what we are thinking about when we are down, waiting to be discovered, longing for us to notice its existence, and for us to add our own unique essence to it.

We overwhelm it with our worries, and we shut it out with our fears. But I have never met a person in my entire life who did not have goodness in them, somewhere. Even people who were deeply depressed or lost.

And universally, I have seen that when we open our hearts and minds to the possibility of goodness, it manifests itself, as sure as day follows night.

I do not say this in a religious way, although I know many people will interpret it religiously. Whether you personally call it God, the Universe, Life, a meeting of a universal mind, the connectivity inherent in our humanity, or just happy coincidence, when we make ourselves available to the goodness, no matter how difficult or overwhelming it appears our life is at that moment, then the goodness seems to somehow enter us and lift us.

I also love that phrase: “Move quickly beyond regret, resentment and anger.”

“Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention” as Paul Anka wrote in the most recorded song in history. (There must be a reason for that, right? It must, if you will forgive the pun, “hit a chord.”)

If we do something truly terrible with our lives then some remorse is healthy, of course, if only to square the situation with others, or to set ourselves on a better course with our future actions.

But see what the writer of this homily says. “Move quickly beyond.”

Endless dwelling on the mistakes of the past pushes the goodness away, and makes it impossible to share our own.

Similarly, anger is a deeply destructive emotion which might be useful in very limited circumstances, (as part of a fight or flight response, for example), but when it dominates our thinking it is as destructive of ourselves as it is of anyone else.

Ask yourself: how often are we actually hating ourselves when we are arguing bitterly with someone, when all we really want is to reconnect with them, and have them connect with us?

And resentment? Resentment has to be the emotion most obviously associated either with failing to resolve an issue, or of hanging onto an issue when it is supposed to have been resolved, as some perverse form of self punishment. In either case, it is self-destructive to the nth degree: it has no effect on what or who we resent, it merely hurts ourselves.

None of us gets these things right all the time, or even, very often. But experts – whether they be psychological or spiritual – agree that all of us can “do better”. I firmly believed we are wired to do so.

So once again: “The past is over, so let yourself be at peace with it.  Free your energy to be used in making the most of right now.”

Make the most of right now, hmmm? Time for a swim in the sunshine, I think …

  1. Wendy says:

    Beautiful timing for me as I sit in hospital, watching my gorgeous mum’s life slowly end. Precious words for me today. As ever, thanks for blogging.


    • Wendy, I am so sorry you are going through such a difficult time. It is so hard to watch a parent drift away – but it is something many of us experience, and our children will experience it after us. There are no words of comfort that make it any less painful, except, perhaps, to remember that none of us are ever, really, alone.


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