Shiny Happy People
I got a very cool comment on the previous post from Dr. Susan (thanks for the inspiration for this post, Dr. Susan!) and she asks why those negative and self-defeating thoughts are just so darn tempting. She says "It sometimes seems like these thoughts masquerade as sparkly things we can't resist gravitating towards."
Funny (no coincidence, I know) that I used that exact analogy during a conversation just this week.
I really believe the first step toward new results in our lives is awareness. We really can't be expected to be accountable for information we don't have. I think that's where the phrase "ignorance is bliss" came from.
When we learn new information, we then have new awareness, and can make new choices. And we don't need to learn exclusively from our mistakes. Don't we also learn from what made us happy? If we make a mistake, and we're stuck in pre-awareness, we won't see the mistake as a gift of awareness - we will just punish ourselves for not being perfect. The reality is that the perfection lies in our imperfection, but our eyes are closed to the gift in the "mistake" which would really lead us to higher awareness.
Of course, with new information (in form) and new inspiration (in spirit) comes the unfamiliar (and often uncomfortable) zone. We've gotten so used to living our lives with our heads down, berating ourselves for our mistakes, that we've failed to see that many times we're in an infinity loop of sameness - same mistakes over and over without seeing them as the gifts they are. That familiar zone isn't comfortable anymore, but so many people prefer uncomfortable familiarity over something new, which could offer a way out of the downward spiral.
The new feeling of unfamiliarity offers so many rewards and opportunities to see at a new level. It reminds me of my life theme song, Dan Fogelberg's "The Higher You Climb," which I found represented so well graphically on a website a long time ago.
The higher you climb, you really do have a different view. But if our eyes are fixed on the ground, we will never see things differently. Shiny and sparkly objects on the ground will keep our gaze fixed there - but there is so much more to see looking up. Shiny happy people have so much more to teach us than sparkly objects at our feet.
Just for today, lift up your head and notice what you notice beyond your old way of seeing. Notice the gifts that are there just waiting to be discovered as you venture on a new path. Don't become accustomed to the dark ... let your eyes adjust to the light. That's when you'll stumble upon happiness - when you stop pursuing it.