Two ways of looking at things

The following isn’t really about art and my painterly life, so no need to read this if it’s not of interest. I just woke up thinking about it all this morning and wanted to say.

A friend who’s going through a lot right now said “But you know what – we are so lucky – our lives here, so much to be grateful for.”

She’d been on a working visit to a part of the world where the health services aren’t good and was saddened that people are dying from diseases and conditions that would be cured or improved here and in many other countries.

Despite her own personal problems, all she could think about were the people she is striving to help.

She added: “And they are such wonderful, happy people. So friendly, so kind.”

By contrast just a couple of days ago, all another friend, also a kind and lovely person, wanted to talk about was the ‘appalling state of things in this country and politics.’ My protestations that actually it’s pretty good, overall, living here in UK, fell on deaf ears.

Two sides of the coin. Two ways of looking at life. Gets things in perspective, doesn’t it? We obviously do have so much – so much! – to be thankful for in this country. Democracy. So much beauty all around us. Mostly good, well-meaning people, doing their best, like us. So much love, kindness. On the whole, great infrastructure and help available for those in trouble.

And even in the country my friend visited, where most are living in poverty, even starving, most of the people are kind, loving, good, well-meaning and find much in their lives and their individual spirits to be happy about.

Someone once said I look at the world through rose coloured glasses. Well actually yes. As much, as often as I can. I’ve had hard times too, of course – we all do sometimes. Times when everything was dire and dark and the light dim. But even then I’ve searched for hope, strength, positivity – at least in my mind. It’s a choice – and not just for me, but for every one of us.

It doesn’t mean not seeing and addressing problems. In fact the more positive we are in spirit and attitude, the more likely we are to do something positive and constructive to help change things for the better.

And even if we don’t or can’t help in any way, living in glass-half-full mode and counting our blessings lights us up personally and the light shines out around us so that anyone who comes into contact with us may, somehow, be helped. A smile can make the world of difference to someone’s day – and even a pleasant expression, if you’re not the smiling type, is more beneficial to those who happen to see us than a scowling face. An interested word or two. Where possible a small (or large!) act of kindness.

Truth is, we can all make a difference. And waking up each day and choosing that realisation and a positive attitude doesn’t half make a difference to our own happiness and positivity too.

I’ll stop rabbiting on now. And hey – I know I said at the beginning of this that it wasn’t about art, but I can’t help mentioning it and I want to fill some of my day now with the challenge and joy of painting. The results may or may not please anyone else but if they do that’ll be wonderful.

I hope you’ll do something you love that makes you feel good today. And I bet that the love you put into it will – somehow – be passed on to someone else. I heard that scientists recognise a fourth state of matter – plasma. Like solids, liquid and gas it’s made up of nano-particles. And so the suspicion that our feelings radiate out from us and move around the world is becoming a very real thing. Scientists may tell me I’ve got the wrong idea about plasma. Well in that case I feel there’s another state of matter, yet to be ‘discovered’ that makes up the feelings we send out.

Whatever the science of it - let’s radiate positivity as much as we can!

With love and light, Jenny

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