People are awesome.

But I didn’t used to feel that way.

Call me Pollyanna, but I think people are pretty great. They’re attractive, friendly, interesting, thoughtful, approachable, funny…

It didn’t used to be that way. I used to find most people sort of scary, or rude, or selfish, or boring, or lame.

Recently, something’s changed.

At first I thought it was just people in Oregon. Everyone seemed friendlier when I moved here here.

But then I noticed it on Medium, too. People are so generous with their support and thoughtful words.

I just got back from my fourth consecutive year at Burning Man and found myself thinking, “Man, I guess there are fewer assholes here than there were last year. All these people are just so wonderful.”

Everywhere I look it seems like folks are radiating humanity. Even when they’re behaving like total idiots or jerks, they still seem pretty great to me. It’s like I can see the love and aliveness behind their eyes.

It would be easy to chalk this up to situation. Maybe I’ve chosen communities like Oregon, Medium, and Burning Man because they’re full of fantastic people. But then I see others who walk around in my communities who don’t seem to see people the way I do, and it occurs to me that something else is going on.

People were this wonderful all along.

Even last year at Burning Man. Even on other websites. Even in Los Angeles.

It’s not the people around me who’ve changed. It’s me.

I write about waking up from the nightmare of anxiety a lot here on The Daily Lift, but it seems I’ve also woken up from the nightmare of seeing other people through the lens of that anxiety. I was walking around in a fog before. I was taking my own insecure thinking so seriously that I couldn’t even see other people at all, much less feel such love and gratitude for them.

What if you took your insecure thinking a little less seriously, my friend? How might you see other people differently (yes, even the ones doing horrible stuff on the news)? How might you see resilience, love, and connection shining through even the murkiest muck?

As one of my mentors likes to say, “It’s worth every investigation.”

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