Growing in character.
Seems simple, right?
Ha. It is so complex, so intricate, that we tend to overanalyze it and make it so much more complicated than it is. We live in a fast paced, quick fix, immediate gratification world, so if we don’t IMMEDIATELY see growth in our character, we tend to want to give up and move on.
But stop. Slow down, take a deep breath. It IS easy to grow in character. It’s as simple as this. Pick ONE virtue that needs help. Just one. Why? Matthew Kelly points out in today’s session that “The beautiful thing about virtues is that they’re an ecosystem. Every virtue is contained within this single ecosystem. To put it in another way, every time you grow in one virtue, you grow in all of the other virtues simultaneously. Think about it like this: if you become more patient, you’re going to become more compassionate. There’s an element of compassion that is patience. People who are impatient tend to lack empathy, tend to lack compassion. And so these things are connected. They’re all connected—every single virtue. They’re all connected. And so, when you grow in one, you’re growing in them all.”
When you take a minute to look at virtues and character in that simplistic manner, it really isn’t hard to become the best-version-of-yourself. And that fills my heart with so much joy. This universe is awesomely amazing and is designed in such a way that we can ALL succeed and be amazing versions of ourselves. In my mind, that simple concept is so beyond comprehension but at the same time, so simple to understand. This huge universe loves me. Why? Because He created all things, including the Universe, and HE loves me. He wants the best for me. Therefore, the universe loves me and wants the best for me.
So, I can return the favor, by simply improving myself each and every day. So can you.
Focus: One virtue at a time, you will begin to build a castle of character to live in.
Act: Focus on one virtue for a couple of weeks, and then switch your focus to another virtue.
My first (and obvious, tee hee hee) virtue is PATIENCE. What will yours be?
DAY 13: JOY and GRATITUDE
This guy. My first son. He is the DEFINITION of joy and gratitude. He lives in the moment, he lives in the now. He loves unconditionally and doesn’t care if you made a colossal mistake out in the great big world. He still loves you.
When you walk into the house, he is so overjoyed to see you (once he gets up out of bed).
He doesn’t care about rules. No furniture? Ha. Don’t eat the kids food that is left on the kitchen table? Ha. Don’t run around the neighborhood? Ha.
He has no one to impress. He doesn’t care what others think about him. All he cares about is his people, eating and sleeping.
To live a life like that. We all jokingly say that we want to live a dog’s life, but then we brush it off because we think it is impossible. But is it really? To live in the NOW instead of worrying about the past or future? To be overjoyed to see the ones you love? To eat, sleep and play? None of that is impossible.
So be a dog.
And then see how quickly your heart is filled with JOY and GRATITUDE.