Why is it as humans we wait for excruciatingly painful events in our lives before we truly appreciate what and who we have in our lives? Could it be we need such events to wake us up and reclaim our lives from our typical, numb, unconscious state? This time of year reminds us to give thanks, but how would your life be different expressing gratitude on a daily basis?
I witnessed an event earlier this month I’d prefer none of us ever experience – as the bystander or as the person directly involved. I was home and I heard a loud unidentifiable noise that caused me to peer out my front window. To my confusion I saw nothing. Returning to the task at hand, several minutes later I was again startled by an intense sound. This time I wondered if something had smacked against my house. I darted for the back door with awareness of a fleeting thought that there could be potential danger and offered a quick “guide me” request to the Universe.
As I exited the back door I was stunned with the view of the neighbor’s house behind me engulfed with flames. I yelled, as if I could be heard, “Are you okay?” Next door, another neighbor informed me 911 had been called.
There I stood, for what seemed like an eternity, waiting the arrival of the fire department. Tears came to my eyes and my gut churned. Watching and listening to crackles, pops, things falling, and the utter destruction of someone’s home I felt helpless. During this time all I could do was pray. I prayed for love and light, for everyone’s safety, for immediate arrival of the firefighters, and a quick expulsion of the inferno.
Finally, the fire was out. I breathed a sigh of relief. The good news – all were safe! For the firefighters and bystanders the horror is over. Though I haven’t spoken with the owners, I’m certain they’re grateful for their lives. Will that gratitude however be sufficient to sustain them for the challenges they now face?
The holidays can be tough for many people and for a variety of reasons. Let me be clear here as my intent is to empower you, not to dishearten you. I’m simply inviting you to look at life from the view of a mountain top instead of through the eye of a needle.
We take so much for granted as we narrow our focus on what/who we don’t have in our life instead of the blessings that surround us.
For example, the mere fact that you’re reading this article says you have eyesight to see; you can read – no not everyone can; you have a computer and know how to use it or know someone who does.
Recognizing these gifts may seem trivial compared to current challenges you’re facing, pause for a moment and imagine your life without your eyesight or without your ability to read.
Did you just read through the last paragraph or did you actually picture what your life would be like? If you really envisioned a different life you probably felt gratitude as you realized how beneficial your eyesight and your ability to read are to you.
You may not have your life exactly as you’d like, you may not have everyone with you that you wish were, but what do you have? Who is in your life?
Why wait for those excruciatingly painful events to feel and express gratitude on a continual basis? How can you raise your awareness all year long to practice appreciation regularly and avoid the mundane zombie state? Could daily immense gratitude change how you experience your everyday life? And how, as a result, might you handle life’s curve balls or undesired events differently?
May you experience gratitude for your blessings at this time and throughout the year – Happy Thanksgiving!