It is important to tune into the beauty around us rather than constantly focus on the challenges that face us in life.
But life is difficult and we can’t be too tough on ourselves if we sometimes lose sight of that which is truly important as we make our way through life.
Helen Keller struggled with her disabilities, but she also struggled with the same things we all do. I think though, from an early age, she developed the habit of confronting her challenges and trying to surmount them, often successfully.
Journaling questions: What challenges are you trying to avoid? Why? Would trying to surmount them lead to a more profound experience of life?
"It is not pleasant to feel that friends who have loved us no longer care for us. One says defiantly, “I don’t care! I am perfectly happy without their friendship”; but it is not true. One cannot help feeling very sad about it at times. We are all complex. I wish I were made of just one self — consistent, wise, and loving — a self I should never wish to get rid of at any time or place, which would move graciously through my autobiography, “trailing clouds of glory.” But alas and alack! Deep within me I knew nothing of the kind would happen. No wonder I shrank from writing this book.
It is no use trying to reconcile the multitude of egos that compose me. I cannot fathom them myself. I ask myself questions that I cannot answer. I find my heart aching when I expected to find it rejoicing, tears flow from my eyes when my lips were formed to smile. I preach love, brotherhood, and peace, but I am conscious of antagonisms, and lo! I find myself brandishing a sword and making ready for battle....
I believe in the immortality of the soul because I have within me immortal longings. I believe that the state we enter after death is wrought of our own motives, thoughts, and deeds. I believe that in the life to come I shall have the sense I have not had here, and that my home there will be beautiful with color, music, speech of flowers and faces I love.
Without this faith there would be little meaning in my life. I should be “a mere pillar of darkness in the dark.” Observers in the full enjoyment of their bodily senses pity me, but it is because they do not see the golden chamber in my life where I dwell delighted; for, dark as my path may seem to them, I carry a magic light in my heart. Faith, the spiritual strong searchlight, illumines the way, and although sinister doubts lurk in the shadow, I walk unafraid towards the Enchanted Wood where the foliage is always green, where joy abides, where nightingales nest and sing, and where life and death are one in the Presence of the Lord."
- Helen Keller, from Midstream, My Later Life