Monday, January 14, 2013

The Art of Living: Week 2--Seeing The Good

Seeing The Good

In this weekly post, I hope to share wisdom, tips, ideas and reflection exercises that will enable you to challenge yourself on a daily basis to live more fully.
Read the posts a few times each week and begin to deliberately practice the life you desire rather than experiencing or reacting to what you feel you’ve been given.
Last week, I wrote about awakening to the world around you and today I’d like to share the practice of seeing the good.
Before you get lost in a game of semantics as to what is good and who gets to define it and before you are tempted with that other game of distraction called “Yeah But;” as in “Yeah but, you don’t know my life,” or “Yeah but I’ve had it hard;” try to simply hear the lesson and then work through your barriers afterward.
Last weekend I had a series of events that seemed like the proverbial week from hell but I decided to see it as the week from heaven.
It started when my bank card was compromised. I had no card to use for money on a weekend when family members and friends were visiting. Later that evening, my children were in a bad car accident and so we had no car. Then our oven was broken and we all looked around to see who had the bad luck charm.
A few days later, my sister Chris missed a step and fell backwards down our steps crashing into the railing and dislocated her shoulder.
Surely something was amiss in the Berry household, but we chose to see it another way.
My cards were compromised, but my bank noticed the problem right away and shut them down. It would take another 5 days to get a new card, but the fraud had been stopped immediately.
My kids had a car accident, but they were completely unharmed and while they had been shaken, they called their Aunt Jeanine who not only came to their rescue, but also helped them get the car towed and got them back home safely.
Our oven was broken (by one of the visitors) but I was able to get it replaced in a day. The repairman did not sell ovens, so when he told us replacement was cheaper; we knew that we were fortunate to have called an honest person. More importantly though, we learned that a fuse had been burned out which could have caused a huge fire. What seemed like a loss was actually a blessing.
My sister’s fall caused her a great deal of pain, but it could have been much worse. She received wonderful care from everyone who responded and we were grateful.
There are three things in life that are inevitable, death, suffering and change. If you try to avoid any of them, you will encounter even more. However when you are grateful, you reduce the amount of unnecessary suffering and hardship.
My family and I could have wallowed in the series of events but we chose to see them as a way of rising above and for seeing the good. We were grateful for the help and love of family and strangers who prayed, assisted and gave guidance.
Here’s the thing, we are wired to recognize and remember hardship and danger so we can avoid it. But we have also been given a measure of compassion and grace.
Where trouble abounds, grace does more so. Where there is hatred; there is also love and kindness.
When someone cuts you off in traffic, someone else will let you in.
It’s often difficult to see the good, when the not-so-good has a spot in the front of your brain.
Look left and then right and see that all will be well.
This week, ask yourself the following:
·         Where’s the good?

·         How can I rise beyond what is happening to me and see what is happening for me?

·         What can I learn from my past and the past of my ancestors?

·         How can I be better?

Life happens; we can learn or we can smile and learn.
Be you, be well, be good.
Bertice Berry, PhD.


  1. Thank you for the reminder, Bertice...
    Seeing the Good in our world, reminds us to stay positive even when we are receiving lessons to improve our lives. When we feel good, think good of ourselves and others - we receive good and manifest this goodness in our lives. Then, at that point, the good rippling resonates to all we do and all we share!

  2. Ok, Bertice. You are a "seer". While cooking dinner tonight, I set off the fire alarm. No, it was NOT my cooking. When taking a pot off of the hot stove, I pushed a stray piece of cauliflower onto the burner. And, voila, fire alarm. I opened the kitchen door and the front door and turned on the fan and it quit. But my next-door neighbors heard the alarm and come to see if I was OK. Chatting turned a bottled of wine, a rotisserie chicken, a quick salad and my cauliflower gratin into a lovely dinner with the neighbors. The recipe that was the culprit was a hit.