Director Chloé Zhao’s life has been defined by a line from a 13th century poem she learnt as a child; people are born inherently good. Bernadette Petrie asks us to look for the goodness within ourselves.

remember, from early school days, loving and being transfixed by creating images with paint or chalk. I had a flair for it and I can still smell the blue paint I had on my hands, the day it was interrupted. Told I was ‘a good girl’ for painting the Virgin Mary – the wrong ‘good’ stuck, as did being called a goody two shoes. But, thanks to taking an online workshop with fellow intuitive artist Vicky Paul, I began painting with blue paint once again – on a path to rediscover that little girl. Like many of us, I forgot that goodness was my inherent nature and instead bought into the dictionary’s meaning of good; to be desired or approved of. That’s no place to create from. 

At the time of writing, I walked into the living room as acceptance speeches were replayed from the recent Oscars – it felt like a message from the Divine herself. Chloé Zhao won Best Director and Frances McDormand, Best Female Actor. Their film Nomandland won Best Film. Chloé, who was born in China moving to the UK when she was 14, then to America, had adapted the screenplay, directed and edited it. She also spent months living with a nomadic community mostly in Arizona. In her acceptance speech Chloé said; “I’ve always found goodness in people that I met anywhere I went in the world.” She dedicated her award to “anyone who has the faith and courage to hold onto the goodness in themselves and to hold onto the goodness in each other, no matter how hard it is to do that”. 

It’s easy for us to see the good in people we like and know. But seeing and finding the good in those who are pushing our buttons or we have unconscious prejudice towards is much harder. This often happens when we are not living in our truth. If we are living our truth, the good pours out and attracts good back. If we are letting old conditioned prejudices run us, the goodness evaporates. We get annoyed and triggered by those following their hearts. We become jealous of people who are courageous, who are not waiting for permission. This is why it is so important to step outside of the conditioning we’ve been exposed to. Unless you can look in the mirror and see the goodness within yourself – your inherent birth right – you will not be able to see the true goodness in others. What if right now, nature is trying to make us see we are truly all connected. When we see the good in ourselves, we will see the good in those around us wherever life takes us, no matter how hard things are.

As a child, Chloé’s parents drilled into her; who you are is enough and who you are, is your art. I hope to get through to my inner child by saying; you are by your very nature GOOD – Glorious, Open-hearted, Original and Divine. Create with that in mind always, and you will be surrounded by it everywhere you go. Ask yourself what did your five-year-old self start, that’s up to you to finish? What goodness did she feel inside that you can demonstrate to the world? What creation will emerge from you when you return home to the truth that burns brightly inside you? 

With love until the next time.

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