Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunshine and Shadow

No, it isn't my picture, and it isn't my quilt.  Darn.  It's gorgeous, isn't it?

But thoughts of Sunshine and Shadow are in my mind, and in my heart.

I'm a relatively new member of a particular group, and came away from my first gathering with the group feeling a little bit of concern.  Most of the people in the group did not seem to have the kind of experience, knowledge, or skills to carry out the group's mission.  I turned to my friend Cathy to talk about this, and her response, in the gentlest and most gracious way possible, was to tell me the positive things she perceived about each member of the group.  Once I thought about what she shared, I could see all of those things, too.  She brought the Sunshine into the Shadow of my thinking.

There's someone else I know, we'll call her Alice, who always speaks of others, even her own children, in negative and critical terms.  It's a bit of a downer.  I come away thinking uncharitably of those people, and at the same time wondering what she is saying to them about me.  There's no Sunshine there, only Shadow.

I'm thinking that everyone has their good qualities and their weaker traits.  And how Cathy has developed the knack of focusing on the former, whereas Alice sees primarily the latter.  The Sunshine and the Shadow sides of people.

It's easy for me to see the Sunshine in the people I'm close to, to those I care deeply for.  Sometimes it isn't so easy with other people.  I'd like to grow to the point of automatically going to the good pieces of people, the way Cathy does.  This is something I believe I can cultivate with some effort.  And my hunch is that the effort will become less over time.

Looking at this quilt picture, what catches my eye first is the Sunshine.  That is how it should be.


5 comments:

Pat said...

You need the shadow to make the sunshine look even brighter, though. I have a relative who is usually looks at why you CAN'T do something rather than why you CAN - always looking at the negative side of the equation. Almost like setting you up for an "I told you so". Makes me sad.

Ray said...

Isn't it wonderful that we are almost always able to continue to learn lessons!!?? You are wise to see and appreciate this one.

wordmama said...

Thank you for this thoughtful post. I struggle with seeing too much of the negative all the time, so why should I be surprised if I'm unhappy? I appreciate how the sunshine and the shadow need each other. The most important thing in life is balance, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this very thoughtful blog. Hopefully I will follow suit and start looking for the Sunshine in others.
cindy

Judi said...

Thanks for a very thoughtful post, Nancy - a lesson there for all of us.