The Ponder Effect | What is good in your life?
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What is good in your life?

In the book I am reading, a mother surprises her grown daughter with this question. The daughter is in an unhappy marriage, and it won’t stop raining. Day after day, cold rain, inside and outside. We’ve all—every single one of us—been there. Are there. The circumstances and reasons vary, the suffering does not.

The temptation toward self-pity is strong. Judging from our experiences as and with children, we seem to come by it naturally. It occurs to me that perhaps the lifelong process of becoming wise is in part the lifelong process of relinquishing self-pity. It’s just so delicious to feel sorry for ourselves, though. The question we often seek, and one that this fictional mother easily could have posed, is What’s wrong? It’s a valuable question. We need to air what ails us. Until we don’t, because it no longer serves us.

Let’s try giving our overactive brains an assignment this week. When we start churning through our standard hamster wheel of worry or frustration or self-pity…while we’re driving or emptying the dishwasher or listening to a colleague drone on or studying for a test or caring for a loved one or waiting for results or wishing for something different…let’s instead name something good, however tiny or tremendous. Let’s keep a running list in our minds, in our journals, and here so that we can inspire and uplift one another.

There are crummy things in your life, I know. What is good?

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

7 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    April 11, 2018 at 2:41 am

    My first reaction is that we are sitting in a bed of white privilege, to have the luxury of self pity. I don’t know the first thing about what it means to feel truly in need. I have never been hungry or had to make the choice between feeding my family and keeping a roof over my head. My life is by no means perfect, but when I am tempted to wallow in self pity, I try to remember that waaay more than my basic needs are met. I am healthy, I have a partner who shares the load. My kids are healthy and learning to be kind. I have friends whom I love and deeply respect. I can binge watch shows on Netflix. Or Amazon. I love to laugh and have the chance to do it often. I have so much to be grateful for!

  • Anonymous

    April 11, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I have had the blessing of waking up every morning his week to the most beautiful woodpecker in the big oak tree right outside my kitchen window!!! His big red head and black and white speckled body has greeted me all week and stirs my soul!!!have been reminded this week that when I’m complaining about things not slowing down that I am in charge of my own slowing down . Observing nature and birds and the blossoming of Spring wakes me up to so much goodness in this world!!
    There is so much going on — the cycle of life- births and deaths, from Winter to Spring — sort of coming out of our own Winters and harvesting the growth we have made while we have worked on our hearts and souls — as the cold goes away and and the warmth begins to grow us—-
    I am thankful for health of myself and family and healing of friends whose health needed to start anew—-
    What’s good is that we can choose —

    To be with the positive thoughts where the flowers grow
    Or in the negative thoughts where the weeds grow


  • Anonymous

    April 11, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    We are either blind….. or we are seeing!! That right there—- is GOOD!!!

  • Anonymous

    April 11, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    I can read. I can set my own schedule. I know how laughter sounds and the way it feels to have sand between my toes. I have friends who forgive me when I don’t call them for months and I’ve lived long enough now to learn from some major regrets. I don’t think life is crummy. I think whining is common because IT’S EASY. Drama draws sympathy. But every time I think I have a mountain, it is never, ever, ever, permanent. Hearing others’ lives and actual problems always brings healthy perspective. Share the good. Great question.

  • Anonymous

    April 12, 2018 at 1:51 am

    Reading to my daughters under a cozy blanket.
    The green leaves coming out on the hydrangeas by my doorstep.
    A friend who gets it.
    A husband who supports me.
    A walk on a gorgeous spring day.
    Clean sheets.
    Dinner on the porch.
    Coffee in the morning.
    Invigorating work.
    A God I can talk to.

  • Anonymous

    April 13, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    The List is so long!!!

  • Anonymous

    April 14, 2018 at 3:50 am