Several years ago I did a summer internship for an international human rights organization with a beautiful mission statement to stop child sex slavery and trafficking.
In one meeting, they put on a brief presentation that reviewed their latest year with the theme of "focusing on the bright spots". Granted, I don't remember everything as clearly as I wish I did, but I remember that the idea behind their theme came from a man with few resources, who was trying to solve a problem of hunger in a village in Asia.
Despite their lack of resources, he was determined to discover a way to help, and his approach was this: He gathered the healthiest boys he could find in the village. I'm sure these boys were not in perfect health (given the circumstances), but he sought out the "bright spots". Others were in extreme suffering, but these boys were doing better than the rest. How come?
And that's where the focus was shifted. He examined what the difference between what these boys were putting in to their bodies, compared to others and in what quantities. Were they doing different activities to strengthen their bodies? Were they somehow getting more nutrients with the same resources?
Despite no changes in the amount of resources a community had, focusing on the "bright spots" helped transform it for the better.
And I found this tactic and mindset very inspiring.
"Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys."
Plenty of stresses have come up in the last few months. From work to wedding planning stress to disagreements with friends, I've definitely let the small failures and frustrations affect my life. And far too much. Ask Tyson. I've been a mess.
But the truth of my life is that there are far too many bright spots that I choose to conceal and push aside.
Bright Spot #1 - I'm about to marry the love of my life, the kindest, funniest man I've ever met who makes life an amazing adventure. He knows me better than any human ever has, seen my highs and lowest of lows and somehow, miraculously, loves me anyways. It doesn't get brighter than that.
Bright Spot #2 - I've made a career out of doing what I love: creating art. I expected this journey to be filled with far more fear, rejection, and struggle than I've experienced.
Bright Spot #3 - I have an awesome family who go so far beyond what's expected to be there for me. A brother I'm close enough with to get ordained to marry me & T! A father who has been above and beyond helpful about all things 'wedding planning'! Even flying up to Portland to help with planning when Tyson went on a trip to New Zealand. And a mom who breathes and lives incredible love and warmth.
I'm ridiculous to not live every moment, thankful for how blessed I've been.
What are your bright spots?