January 31, 2016 – I have come to believe that the first step in writing – or any form of personal, public expression – is NOT to ask, “What is my message,” “Who is my audience,” or “Why am I writing this book?” Instead, it is to ask, “Where is the goodness in my life?”
Several years ago, I was given a healing song which included the words, “Life goes on…” These words have come back to me in recent days as I watch myself gravitate toward sharing jokes and puns and silly stuff, human stuff, in postings and on social media. I shy away now from the sober stuff because I am refusing to get caught up any more in the fear and drama of politics, climate change, government and corporate abuse of power, and all that I see going on right now around me.
“Life goes on.”
This is not to be frivolous. It is to take responsibility to vote, to speak and act intelligently with friends and community; to make choices with my pocketbook; to take opportunities to teach and model critical thinking, compassion, resourcefulness, and self-determination; to craft my own life and way of being the best I can; to care for myself; and to leave the rest of the world to “have its own tantrum.” Because life is big, and life goes on. It serves no one for me to be stunted by fears spoken over and over and over again; it serves everyone for me to find the best of life I can and nurture that.
An extreme example is the psychotic person who hears voices. Eighty percent of these voices may be negative, frightening, and destructive, but 20% are divine wisdom. The spiritual healing from psychosis is to learn which voices to listen to.
Similarly, we can choose to listen to the “80%” of voices around us in the world, and inside our own head, about all the bad things that may happen to us, or we can listen to the 20% that show us all the good we have today and all the reasons we can hope for more goodness tomorrow and on into eternity.
There are a bazillion tips and tricks, pathways and practices, from all different disciplines, to help us approach an answer to what makes life worth living and to see that it is already present and enduring in our world. There are a bazillion ways to phrase this question of value and hope so that it resonates most closely with each of us. But the beginning of finding our voice, or moving into any form of empowered activism, is to find “the goodness” in our everyday lives, our most authentic self, and live into that.