Friday, December 12, 2014

Practicing delight

Today, as "Crumbs of Comfort" celebrates its 3,000th page view, our post from a reader in Raleigh, NC, USA, is a clipping she saved from the April 25, 2007 issue of The Christian Science Monitor. The author was Susi Gregg Fowler. The photo comes from a reader in St. Louis, MO, USA.

"My friend's daughter wanted an 'A' in algebra. And because her teacher had a school-wide reputation for being tough, she knew it was going to be a struggle. Night after night, my friend and her husband watched their daughter struggle with math homework. They listened to her practice the powers of 10 and, amazed, saw her studying diligently for tests. One day my friend walked in on her daughter smiling beatifically from the couch. 'What's going on?' she asked. 'You sure look happy.'

The face of joy

"Her daughter smiled up at her. 'I'm practicing delight,' she said. My friend was baffled. Was this the religious practice of some cult? A theater exercise? 'What do you mean?' she finally asked. Her daughter continued to smile.

"'This is the way I'm going to look when Mrs. B tells me I got an A in Algebra. I'm practicing delight.'

"My friend was charmed, as was I when she told me. How often, I thought, do I practice the opposite of what this young girl chose? By worrying, or what some call 'catastrophizing' -- imagining the worst. How much more fun to practice delight. At worst, we could lift our spirits for a time. At best, we might master the face of joy. If this isn't a religious practice, it ought to be!"

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