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Give us this day (02/19/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns
Insight on walking up a steep hill backwards: "It's a psychological trick that helps make a steep ascent easier: you stay focused on how much you've already accomplished rather than being overwhelmed by the heights that are ahead of you." - from Secrets of Pronoia by Rob Brezsny.

Ally kept returning to that story and pictures, in the children's National Geographic magazine, of the boy with one artificial leg. He had opted to have a useless leg amputated and went on to master surfboarding, his passion. At five, Ally sensed the magnitude of courage and dedication at the heart of his story.

Each exposure to the reality of unsettling circumstances serves to penetrate a little one's naivetΓ©, toward a mature awareness of surmountable challenges life can impose. An innocent child is not yet worldly enough to turn a deaf ear and blinded eyes on the suffering of others. A child is inherently compassionate.

You've heard it said, "All anybody has is today, this moment." It's a narrow perspective. Faith in oneself is fed by experiences, accomplishments, and setbacks. Dreams spring from shallow wells. Noble goals have humble beginnings. It would seem, then, that one's past should remain tucked away for safekeeping- to return to from time to time to restore purpose and to bolster enthusiasm.

There's a group of people who are committed to what is called the "Beauty and Truth Laboratory," who maintain that the world is conspiring to shower us all with blessings, that the universe is fundamentally friendly. Their antidote for paranoia is what they refer to as "pronoia." Its founder, in 2002, Rob Brezsny is the epitome of optimistic energy.

He suggests that pronoia provides the gifts your soul needs and not necessarily those your ego craves. Their belief is that cynicism is often erroneously equated with insight. Learn to maintain a good mood and rise above the false concept of "reality." Oh yes, and by all means, laugh at the devil.

Tom Robbins has written, "Play - more than piety, more than charity or vigilance - is what allows human beings to transcend evil." Saved - by a healthy game of "Ring around the Rosie!"

Before entering one's private world, others should knock! Doesn't the news media give the public what thrills them - mean-spirited stories and ugly truths reeking of degradation and scandal? Is the media getting a bum rap? We can stay tuned or tune out.

Be prepared to suffer, while thinking positive. "Sunshine people" profess, either verbally or by their attitudes, that each day imparts its blessings and positive vibes. Hope, tenacity, and serenity touch all who enter their spaces.

A very negative energy story: You cower beneath the covers as your deep, morning's sleep is shattered by a blurting alarm. The arthritis pain awakes with you. You stub your toe on the bathroom scales. Then you discover that you're out of shampoo. You haven't the foggiest what you're gong to wear to an important board meeting, to which you're going to be late anyway.

"What a terrible day I'm having already," you think, as a grumpy scowl taints the morning mirror's gray image.

"But no!" a true pronoiac might challenge. "You are alive and kicking, washed in rousing rays of the sun on a brand new day! You slept well on a comfortable bed."

"The water runs free and warm in the shower and you've a closet full of lovely, clean clothes. Red lights are at your beck and call on coffeemaker, bread baker, and clothes dryer. The car you got a good deal on runs smoothly, and your medication has kicked in."

Get the scenario? It's about that half-empty, half-full glass of orange juice.

When we pray, "Give us this day," we turn to God for everything and for nothing. Just to know who to ask and who to praise is the most pertinent need fulfilled.

Your pathway meanders beyond yesterdays' shortcomings... into this new day. What more can anyone ask for? 


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