Kalos Kai Agathos (καλὸς κἀγαθός)
That Greek word is as lovely as it sounds. It translates to “the singular balance of the good and the beautiful,” which I have learned while re-reading Eat Pray Love. The peculiar thing about re-reading is that you pay attention to different things every single time, and it just so happened that this phrase struck a chord in me, owing to my situation at the moment. (So I will use this phrase in this context and this usage, as the definitions are not limited to just this one. )
Suffice to say, I am learning that kalos kai agathos, from a personal perspective does not mean finding perfection in our activities, in our communications and relationships, in our experiences and interactions with the world. I believe that the balance of good and beautiful is the ability to see clearly – beyond the negative. The good and beautiful do not necessarily mean the absence of problems and struggles, but the emergence of a stronger you covered in scars and broken glass, but still smiling.
Kalos kai agathos is finding the good and beautiful in all things, no matter how difficult it is to be thinking about sunshine in the midst of a tempest. It is never an easy task to think positive all of your days, because we all go through bouts of anxiety, waves of fear and doubt, and attacks of insecurity. But the moment we realize that we are more powerful than the spawn of negativity, we find in ourselves the ability to turn our situations around. We have the responsibility to choose: to remain in a depressed, reclusive state, or to live your life doing great things.
Today, I was given the opportunity to contemplate on this phrase and how it turned my situation around – or at least paved the way for me to start anew. I had grown weary – physically and emotionally – because of my fear, the irrational, anxiety-ridden fear that wastes my time and my thoughts. I had become shackled to fear and its threats for quite some time, making me weak. For a time I had stopped having my quiet time – rendering me vulnerable to more lies and distractions. I thought I was going to pull through by listening to music to calm me down, but even that did not work. I also tried fighting fire with fire – whenever I had episodic attacks of anxiety I would clench my teeth and rage silently in my head, cussing and all. Not only did that agitate me more, it did nothing to stop the thoughts. There was a conscious part of me that knew this was not the solution.
It took a conference, a mighty rebuke, a roster of anointed speakers, and a ton of self-persuasion and motivation to push myself off of the murky ground I was lying on and continue with what I was given. With a re-ignited fire, I took baby steps to remember how it was to walk in joy, in peace, and in confidence. Every day is a mighty struggle, with so many things and situations to trigger the anxiety, but I manage. The same span of time that had me sinking to rock bottom would be the same as the time it will take for me to fully recover. It is agonizing, and it gets me impatient, but one thing I’ve resolved to do is to quit worrying. Worry is the root of all of my troubles, and lately I have been receiving affirmations that worrying does nothing to solve my problem. I cannot remember how and why my initial reaction to everything is the worst case scenario, but I am tired of it. I used to be such a happy pill, drowning out all the pessimism, I remind myself of this and all of the instances that I have made people happy. I didn’t want to have a mask on, giving people medicine but not taking it myself. I want to testify with credibility, and I have to justify that. Which is why I have resolved to find the good and beautiful in all things. My life should not and will not be dictated by fear or anxiety, as I have been rendered prisoner to. I am free, and I believe that. I just need to recuperate and nurse all of the chafing wounds that struggling has done, all the wrong ways of escaping has taken its toll on me, but I’ve found my Light again.
To find the good and beautiful in all things is a heavy task, but it is worth every sinew and bone in my body to work on. To find a reason to look forward to new days, and to smile about the little things is definitely more fulfilling and worthwhile than tossing and turning in bed being taunted by your demons.
Kalos Kai Agathos. It is a journey to find the good and beautiful, and you yourself are a shining example.