In my book, Do Positive … Just Because: The Keys to the Life You Always Imagined, one of the five Keys is: Find the Good in Everything. At first, people struggle with this concept. How can a person convince themselves much less tell anyone else that they will, without fail, find something good about every single thing they encounter for the rest of their lives?
On the heels of Black Friday, I thought this would be a great topic. Is Black Friday good because we are given time off to go out at the crack of dawn and wrestle the crowds for the remarkable deals to be had? Or is Black Friday good because it gives the family a chance to be together, perhaps doing something customary, and maybe even gathering with extended family over the course of Thanksgiving and the following day?
What is the good in Black Friday? Have you been getting it wrong or right? While we don’t like to see retail employees having to work hours they might want to be elsewhere, those hours are often compensated at time and a half their wage, and that is good. Also, a person needing deep discounts to keep a large family happy this holiday season will enjoy the good that Black Friday prices bring. Another person who works too many hours might be grateful for a day with everyone in pajamas, egg nog and leftover turkey. In some cases we see the good in something from our own perspective. Other times there is intrinsic good to be found if we simply look.
I am often asked what some people think are “the hard questions,” like, “how can I find the good in losing someone I love? In somebody dying?” “Why would I see good in losing my job and then my house?” Truthfully, these massive shifts make it easier to see the good because it is easier to see the bad. Where there is darkness there is light. Everything has balance. So, with all due respect, when someone we love passes on, there are good things to take from that. If nothing good came from your loved one’s passing, how sad that would be – to pass on meaninglessly. Here are just some of the good things to recognize:
- We learn how deeply that person was loved.
- We discover how strong our support system is, and who we can count on no matter what.
- We get a massive wake-up that says, “live now, you know what is now, and that is all you know. Grab hold of the wheel and drive all the way to joy with no fear. Carpe diem!!! Which literally means seize the day!!!”
- We think more about our own afterlife and therein we also think about our faith and intent for our lives.
- We realize how fragile life is, and some of us make great changes to be better on the inside and the outside.
If you remember that there is always light where there is darkness, you will find the good in everything. Nothing can be only dark. Everything has balance. In Sacred Contracts, by Caroline Myss, each reader uncovers twelve archetypes that align with their true self. Let’s say one of your archetypes is “Student.”
Later, you would read that that there is a shadow to each archetype. In this case, the Student’s light is that he or she loves to learn new things, read and research new information as it becomes available, and stay on projects through to completion. Wonderful! Unfortunately, the shadow side of the Student is that they never stop learning and start to employ their knowledge. The Student tends to believe that he or she must research a bit more to prepare for whatever the action might be. Even if a Student does take a step into a project, work role, speaking or teaching position, that person will feel somewhat unprepared in terms of being at the cutting-edge they believe is required. So look for the good in a Student. Look for the good in all things.
Over time, I have heard some moving and enlightening stories from people who found good in beautiful ways. I will close with one that I will never forget. I hope you begin to find the good in everything. It brings peace and joy to every moment of life. Seeing or even looking for the bad only brings discomfort, anger, judgement and sorrow.
This story comes from a woman I had the pleasure to work with over time. She told me, “I get severe chronic migraines. They come often and when they do, I cannot move or be touched for fear I will vomit. They impact my neurological system in multiple ways. I lose my short-term memory, often I cannot speak and I am more nauseated than I words can describe. Later in the attack I have fibromyalgia, and I cannot lay or sit without unbearable pain in major muscle groups.” She was so delicate in her description. So authentic, and clearly dictated by these cyclical experiences which obviously impacted her personal and professional life. I felt for her. I never had something take me out like that. As I was thinking all those thoughts and feeling helpless to do anything for her, she surprised me. She said, “But the whole time I lay there, I think about the people who feel this way and will never feel better. I cannot imagine going on in that condition knowing that this torture will continue. I pray for them. I ask for mercy for them. I pray they have some kind of relief. I don’t think about me at all. Not for a moment am I sad or upset about my situation. Although it’s tough, I know it will end – that’s the good … and it is so good.”
Grayson Marshall, Jr- The Metacognition Expert