I was sitting in my chair this morning, having a quiet conversation with God and thinking about all the people I know who are intensely hurting right now.
As each one came to mind, I thought about the terrible things that are happening in their lives and the ways it seems the darkness is winning.
I parked my brain in that place for just a moment before I felt a tug on my heart that said, “But that’s only part of the picture.”
So, once again, one by one, I went through each of those people in my mind and mentally listed all the wonderful blessings I can see in their lives:
Great friends in the face of a medical emergency
A husband with a new promotion
A lovely new lake home to spend the summer
A cozy couch, cuddly kids and a Netflix account
When I look at my life or my friends’ lives from a place of pity, I can’t help them (or myself). But when I look at their lives from a place of victory — a place that says, yes this sucks, but it’s not the whole picture, I can be strong for them.
I’m telling you about my quiet time this morning, because right after that, I listened to my latest podcast with Dr. Tara Cousineau.
We recorded the interview a few months ago and my memory isn’t all that great, so I had forgotten the importance of her words.
In response to my question, “Is there more good than bad in the world?” Dr. Cousineau says it all depends on our focus. She walks us through the brain’s ability to override the anxiety that comes from the constant flow of negativity in our society. And she points out some fascinating brain-mapping research being done in Germany and how those findings can help us override our fear of stepping into another person’s suffering.
It’s great stuff and will give you a taste of what you can find in her book, The Kindness Cure.
I hope you’ll check out Episode 26 of The Kindness Podcast on itunes, google play or NPR.