Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

On Self-Esteem: A Book and its Cover March 27, 2013

I hate the way my mom looks at herself in the mirror. Or (worse yet) when she avoids looking at herself entirely because of the disdain for the body looking back at her. I know it’s a common issue among women to reflect negatively about their appearance, but I just don’t understand it. And I don’t care to understand it. It breaks my little doggie heart to see her look at herself that way.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been,” the fabulous George Eliot once said. Well, I refuse to be anything other than what I’m meant to be, which is a source of joy. Joy is not in my mom’s face when she looks in the mirror, which bothers me even more given that the past several days of my journey with Simple Abundance have taught me that my Daybook of Comfort and Joy indeed cannot be judged by their cover.

Simplicity is appropriately understated on the pink cover with the little picture of a tree on it, but I obviously would not have it any other way. Forget the cover. I would love this book even if it were bound with those little plastic binder clips the movers and shakers of the world occasionally use to make financial presentations, marketing pitches or performance summaries.Mirror, mirror

I’m not going to lie to you. (A dog’s tail never lies after all.) If I judged books by their covers, I may never have taken interest in the pretty pink simplicity of Simple Abundance. But this is yet another example of a reason I am happy I make a habit of seeing the best in all people and things. And the more I thought about it, I realized I have pieced together a powerful analogy for judging a book by its cover. In the most recent daily suggestions by Sarah Ban Breathnach, readers are challenged to see beauty in oneself regardless of preconceived notions and habitually negative thought processes I know are capable of crossing one’s mind frequently throughout a day.

So I tried a little experiment today. I left my copy of Simple Abundance open on the bed when I was done reading it this morning so my mom would see it. So she would be challenged to look past the cover to the soul inside both the book and herself. So she would be challenged to look at that reflection in the mirror with positive energy rather than negative. But just as one generally doesn’t start and finish a book in the same night (regardless of how good the cover might be), I know this isn’t a change I will see overnight.

In the meantime, I will continue to loathe the way my mom looks at herself in the mirror.  I know it takes time to change a way of thought, but as George Eliot said it’s never too late. If only the mirror would show her the reflection I see on a daily basis. You know the one. There is no negativity or disdain or heartbreaking disappointment. Instead there is complete and unconditional love for the beauty of book and its cover.

 

Writing my way to through Simple Abundance – Day One January 1, 2013

A new me in 2013? I hope so.Thirteen years ago Sarah Ban Breathnach had a simple idea that ended up changing her life forever. In Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, she set out to write an honest commentary on some of life’s most pressing questions.

“I knew I wasn’t the only woman hurtling through real life as if it were an out-of-body experience,” she writes in the foreword, “…But I also knew I certainly wasn’t the woman with the answers. I didn’t even know the questions.”

I will be the first to admit I laid out some pretty lofty goals for myself in 2013. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to find a practical way to hold myself accountable for how well I remember Christmas, love actively and live life backwards every day.

Reading the last few words of Breathnach’s foreward in Simple Abundance showed me how.

“Reading books changes lives. So does writing them. May Simple Abundance, through its gentle lessons of comfort and joy, help you find the authentic life you were born to live.”

And so begins my year-long journey to find the authentic life I was born to live…from my humble perspective. Joy, from the ground up.

Day one. New Year’s Day. “A Transformative Year of Delight and Discovery.” Today’s reading ironically challenges me to take time to dream. Take time to reflect on my most private of aspirations. All right Sarah, here you go.In deep thought

I want to be a writer. I want people to want to read what I have to say. Most importantly, I want my words to inspire people. I know its silly. I know people might not take me, a goofy four-year-old terrier mutt, seriously.

But I’m going to take the challenge to dream big. I am going to take a leap of faith and believe that this year I will post a blog entry every day. I’m going to believe in myself. Because sometimes, that is the hardest thing to do.