A Truth That’s Told with Good Intent
On July 6, I began a 100 day photography challenge that I wrote a bit about here. Today was our 90th day. The simple purpose of the challenge was to take one photo each day of something that made us happy. Most of us took our photos on the fly with just our cell phones, but a few more professional posts were taken with digital cameras. We started out with a group about twice the size as we ended up with; so about half of us are still participating with only ten days left to go.
When I started, I was in a whirl of agony from a couple of traumas I have no control over; not little stuff, big stuff. I was determined to do what I could to get through the storms and to enjoy summer as much as possible, mostly because I’m just tired of suffering. It wasn’t easy, but I was flabbergasted by how this photography challenge helped me. On my worst days, I did not participate, but as soon as I could rejoin the group, I did. What I found was that wherever I went, I was looking for the good. To do so is my nature in the first place, but everyone is only human, and sometimes heartaches throw us off course. I needed this assignment. With the discipline of this challenge, I was able to add more joys to my day each and every day.
Years ago I adopted the philosophy of the English poet, William Blake, who wrote centuries ago about seeing heaven in a wildflower (Auguries of Innocence). This focus enables us to experience delight in the smallest, most ordinary things, and to value them. Because this challenge of focusing on something that makes me happy came easily, on a few days I was even hard pressed to decide which photo I wanted to post. Other days, I knew instantly. On a few occasions, I was unable to take the photo that captured my attention, because I did not wish to be intrusive.
Still, often enough, I came upon images, particularly on my daily walks. Here are a few photos I shared in the group from my nature walks and walks around town…
Then there were the occasions, the dinners with friends and breakfasts with my husband, the family vacation, preparing for our granddaughter’s Sweet 16 birthday party, not to mention our occasional road trips and bike rides, gifts given and received..along with the simple, everyday things like reading a book at the library, taking the dog for his walk and watching the children flock to pet him; a visit to one of my favorite doctors who takes good care of me and seems to care genuinely about my healing; the day I received my t-shirt for this challenge; seeing the grand baby grow and make her first friend….All of these things and more brought joy to my days.
In the collective, these daily photographs made me realize that our suffering is actually a small part of us, though it feels constant. We should keep this in perspective, and focus on the good to the best of our ability. Even if we have to look back or forward, the good is there.
Even with all this happiness, life can be hard. We all must do what we can to break free from the trials that plague us. It’s all a matter of how you want to define your life. Do you want your illness to define you? Do you want tragedy or heartache or disappointment to define who you are or how you face your days on this planet? All of us are living on borrowed time. All of us know sorrow. If you are a person who suffers, try searching for whatever makes you smile. If you are a person who is greatly blessed, try doing what you can to bring a smile to someone else’s face. Remember though, it is not so much what we can do for others–though that surely brings joy–but more to the point, what we can do for ourselves.
This is Day 3 in the 31 Day Writing Challenge, 31 Days of Breaking Free from Fatigue
Day 3, #write31days
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