Break the habit
“Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.” — Rita Schiano
Right now I could sit here and go on for hours about the cares that I am facing– which include deep sorrows, minor annoyances, and the entire spectrum of trials that lie in between. I’m almost certain you could too. I know some people are deemed more fortunate than others, and some in this world are suffering atrocities that go beyond our comprehension. Yet, even among those of us who are blessed to be free of dangerous turmoil, I doubt that anyone is without cares and challenges.
The good news is that no life need be bereft of joys, either. They lie all around us, quickened by awareness and illuminated by our focused attention. For me, there is hardly anything more fun than noticing and sharing the beauty and humor and color and whimsy of life. A flower, a song, a funny joke, a good book, a cup of tea or coffee, a nice hot meal in a cozy kitchen…on and on the list could go.
There’s a place, of course, for sharing our sorrows with those who have earned our trust. We all need to vent at times, and to explore aloud the difficulties that can vex and overwhelm us to the point of paralysis. I thank God for those friends who are willing to walk with us through the uncertainty of pain and suffering.
But it’s just as important– and maybe even more so– to have friends who shine into our somber moods with a lightness of spirit that lifts our hearts. These folks don’t minimize or ignore their own problems, or anyone else’s, but they have a knack for spotting the rainbows lurking within the storms. If you know people with such a gift, stay close to them and learn from them. Prepare yourself to be, as Maya Angelou has said, “the rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
It seems we are surrounded by talk about our problems. It’s a significant part of almost every television show, and is the underlying message of many commercials. It takes up much of our conversations wherever we go. What a waste of happiness, to live our short lives surrounded by gloom!
I hope you will join me in breaking the habit of allowing our talk to focus on our problems. It’s true that we cannot avoid dealing with our challenges, but talking about them often makes them seem worse than they are, and too often, talk does not bring solutions. I invite you to spend a few minutes focusing on something worth smiling about. Feel free to scatter some of the sunbeams you gather, by sharing about them in the comments today!