I have a friend who, no matter what befalls her, is always happy. For a long time, it would piss me off that she never lost her equilibrium. I think I was jealous that I didn’t know how to do that, too. But then she told me why.

She grew up in horrifying circumstances. Imagine the very worst. At 17, after just too much to take, she contemplated finally ending it all.

As she prepared to do the thing, she was suddenly struck by the idea that she could take all of her anguish, despair and angst and use it productively.

She had no idea how that would happen or how she could do it, but she loved the idea so much that she stopped thinking about ending her life and started looking around for things she could do that would serve life, instead.

She told me it wasn’t about ‘helping’ people or ‘saving’ anyone, because that makes them victims in their own minds. That identity is hard to overcome.

Instead, she said, if she serves life, she adds to the flow of things that increase and expand and enhance beauty, joy, creativity, curiosity and surprise.

She told me that she asks questions now, instead of lecturing people.

She asks, what is a dream you never got to fulfill?
What did you love about it?
If you could right now, what is one teeny tiny step you could take to go in that direction?
What is stopping you?
Are you sure that’s true?
What if it wasn’t? And so on.

So I asked her, “but don’t you ever feel down?”

She said, “yes, but then I start thinking about the fun I have re-directing myself and others, and then the down turns up.”

How can that be a bad thing????

I think she’s brilliant. Carlos feels the same, and takes her as a close model.

text & image
© Angela Treat Lyon 2021

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