Beauty on the Good Days

I have written before about finding beauty on the bad days and how comforting it can be during challenging times.



But what do we do with the beauty we see on good days? When we are happy or experiencing joyful events, it's easy to slide into that place where everything is shiny and lovely. The sky is a brighter blue, grass and trees are greener, and faces of family and friends seem to glow. We want it to last forever, and when the luster inevitably fades, we typically respond in different ways.

It may be tempting to bemoan the loss and complain about how things aren't the same anymore. Some may chase the fleeting happiness with reckless desire while overlooking their current circumstance, and others may attempt to replicate the elation with substances or vices.

I get it. Our human experience leads us down multiple paths as we seek beauty, joy, and love, and these trials shape and mold us as we travel.

My approach started to change when my health challenges began to overwhelm my days. As worry, pain, and misery threatened to take over, I sought a balance in peace, gratitude, and joy.

I have figured out what to do to make the good days last.

During positive times, I "bank" my pleasure and the warm feelings so I can access them when the bad days roll in again. I recently read that Elizabeth Gilbert calls a similar practice diligent joy, as she intentionally works for happiness every day.

For example, this past week has been an especially good one for my weight. Due to my heart condition and imbalanced hormones, I tend to retain fluids in my abdomen causing weight gain, tightness, and shortness of breath. So when my weight swings lower, I feel physically and mentally better equipped to handle my day.

Using my banking strategy, I savor those good feelings as I say a prayer of gratitude each night. When the scale eventually tips higher, I can draw from this store of serenity and reassure myself that I will have good days again.

This, combined with my practice of looking for doorways, goes a long way toward my goal of finding balance, and that opens my heart to see beauty everywhere, every day. 

What will you do with your good days?

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Some doorways from this week:

  • My 20-month-old nephew got a haircut, and his joyous reaction as he grinned and clapped for the camera made me want to smile and clap, too!
  • I called a friend to arrange lunch plans and was greeted by her signature laugh, reminding me of all the years we have spent laughing together.
  • Waiting in the concession line at a basketball game, I watched as a little boy danced openly to the music playing in the arena and admired his and other children's free spirits.

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