This weekend for my dad’s birthday, my mom and I took him to one of our all-time favorite places, Mt. Irenaeus, a Franciscan Mountain Retreat in Allegany County and perhaps the most beautiful, simple and spirit-filled place I have been. During Sunday’s Mass, Father Dan Riley offered the reflection, “how you see the flower is how you see the field.” The phrase has been in my mind ever since I heard it and it’s been a critical point of reflection for me during this race preparation week.

Consider that YOU are the flower and the field is your life, the world, your family and your community. How you see yourself colors how you see everything around you. Think of yourself in judgmental and negative ways and that will color how you see the field. Confidence is no longer about yourself or accomplishments or reaching your goal. It is about creating the world in which we want to live in.

How you see yourself impacts the types of people you bring into your life, the types of experiences you get to have the opportunities which come your way. And perhaps how we see ourselves will impact the rest of the field, too. If we see ourselves as caring and creative as compassionate and fun-loving that frees up the rest of the field to see themselves in the same way. We really don’t have to do anything. We merely have to be ourselves. No really be ourselves, not some polished version of ourselves but our real selves, in order to embrace our life and have a positive impact on the world around us.

How do you see the flower? How do you see the field?

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