The face of negativity peers at me like the reflection in a mirror. I lean forward, trace the furrows on the brow, squint to bring the image into focus. Every action flashes back in pristine imitation.
What would happen if I smiled instead? Would the eyes fixed on mine return my shine?
I had a running electronic discussion with a client yesterday. She had hit a pothole of despair. She’s dealing with a scorned ex-boyfriend who has snatched their child and harnessed his anger into an onslaught of lies about her character and her mental health. Her tortured words reflect his condemnation of her. I transmitted rapidly constructed paragraphs praising her tenacity in the face of his fury; promising industry in her defense; expressing understanding of her pain. By afternoon’s end, her writing took on a different tone. She sent pictures of her son, and finally, said this:
“I can’t say this caused me to cry my eyes swollen… Because I already have…. But your sweet thoughtful heart changed the way my tears felt. Simply, I thank you…. For being you. You deserve each and every blessing you are offered and so many more!!!”
I ask myself a hundred times each day what my purpose in life could possibly be. Loneliness tugs me downward into the muck of self-pity and complaint. Sometimes from within the quagmire of my own despair, I spy another unhappy soul. My desire to save them drives me from the depths. I raise my arms and let the weeping heavens wash me clean. A filthy mirror cannot reflect the light.
It’s the twenty-eighth day of the thirty-second month of My [Endless] Year Without Complaining. Life continues.