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Well wishes

As you may imagine, I have in my possession a vast array of notebooks.

The first draft of most of what I find important begins with paper and pen. And while any scrap will often do, I also have a library of pre-prepared trees for a compendium of anticipated use cases.

One green book is assigned to a somewhat peculiar purpose.

If I find myself experiencing any significantly challenging thoughts toward a person, I turn to that book, grab a pen with red ink, and write a full page of all the wonderful things I hope and wish to be true for them. I don’t distinguish between reality and fantasy, I simply write all the best things I can muster to want on their behalf, and write them as if they are true.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the person who I have been most enlisted to write for is myself. I always save the most potent poison for myself.

But sometimes there are others. During a particularly stormy period, there was a regular repeat customer. It’s funny to look back and see the ways my well wishes betray the root of my difficult feelings.

Because the important thing is that the writing must be true. The things I write don’t need to be true, but the writing itself must be. It is imperative. I need to feel those wishes and hopes fully present in my body while I write them. Writing them, imagining them, for that person in particular, has to bring me unbounded joy. And not in a selfish way, but in a way that is, to the greatest extent I am capable, oriented toward their highest good.

It isn’t an attempt to suppress something, or trick myself into thinking everything’s fine. It’s a way to transcend the petty moment, and remind myself of the love and care that simply must underlie any feelings strong enough to upset my equilibrium. It’s a genuinely joyful practice.

I haven’t used it much lately. My challenges haven’t been so cut and dry in recent months. I might have to think outside the book.

But I like that I have it. I like that I made the choice to start it. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but it was certainly inspired. And I highly recommend it, particularly for those serving difficult repeat customers.

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