We’re conditioned to think in absolutes… rich or poor, empty or full, light or dark, black or white, success or failure. The truth is, most of life happens in all the in-between areas.
Here’s the dictionary definition of “Success”: favorable result or conclusion; attainment of a desired end. Attainment or acquisition of wealth, status, or other desirable condition.
If I’m honest, I would tell you that I tend to measure goals, check things off the list, align myself with the highest standard in view, and compare myself to others and their collective efforts to determine whether or not I “feel” successful. For me, that’s just a dark rabbit hole to topple through. It’s why I have a large sign in my home to remind me that “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
So, I’m coming up with other criteria.
Am I able to breathe life into a situation? If only for a moment, am I able to change the complexion of someone’s day, or bring a bit of light or life to an otherwise discouraging situation? Did the experience touch my heart, or the heart of another? Is it something I want or need to do again? If I can answer yes to any or all of those questions, then I can personally deem it a success.
In a stairwell, after a high school Christmas concert, a group of young people decide to sing ‘Hallelujah’ once more because the acoustics are so good right in that spot. What you will hear is incredible. No stage. Away from the audience, (with the exception of a few parents and friends).No applause. No need. Their vocals and harmonies resound in power and all of us who have watched the viral version are in awe.
Our two year-old granddaughter always wants to make pancakes. Morning. Afternoon. Evening. Here’s the problem… she rarely eats them. Even after adorning them with butter and syrup, generally, she only eats a few bites.
Oh, but wait. Here’s what I’ve learned. She loves to make pancakes. She likes me to sit her on the counter, perched by the bowl. She loves to tell me all the ingredients we need and watch as I get each one out. She digs the proper measuring cup into the mix, and I let her poor the milk and the vanilla and any ‘extras’ in. Everything except the egg. She even takes the whisk and stirs.
It’s the process she loves. The time with me, the control, feeling like a ‘big girl,’ the delight in knowing she helped make something. No matter how the pancakes turn out, success or failure are not even words that come into play. The experience is the valuable part.
That’s how I feel about my writing. Most of the time I just love the process. I love choosing the proper words, evoking certain feelings, communicating and encouraging others through words. This is fun for me.
So I will move forward, mindful of being more like Kinsley… enjoying the moments… oblivious to outcomes… glad I got to do my part… happy with what is… happier that tomorrow I can do it all over again.
What is it that brings you joy; that helps you breathe? What speaks quietly to your soul, reminding you that it is part of the very core of who you are? I encourage you to pursue and embrace it. Make no apologies if it doesn’t align with what everybody else is doing. I am learning that our biggest success is staying true to who we are and how we’re created.
Abundance is…enjoying the moments.