Sometimes life throws us difficulty. Sometimes we’re in a “funk,” or a bad mood, or we’re just plain inconsolable. Before we continue to focus on how terrible things are for us, take a moment for perspective.
For example, last week I was just plain angry about something. (I can’t even remember what I was actually angry about, so you can appreciate how really unimportant it was!) Nobody had died; nobody received a horrible medical diagnosis. I was sitting on my couch in my own living room which has a roof over it, while my children, happy and healthy and well fed, were playing in the other room.
Even with all of that, I couldn’t shake my anger. I was trying to find the “good” in my life, but I just struggled to get myself out of the “funk” that I was in. I knew what my next steps had to be — I had to grab a pen and some paper and do some writing.
After I found my writing supplies, I just sat down. Now, what I wrote was not profound. I was not writing a chapter in my next book, or a deep reflection, or anything out of this world. I simply sat there and wrote a list of things that I can call “blessings” in my life.
Before long, I had written a list of well over fifty things that I was thankful and appreciative of in my life. While I knew that I could have added more things to the list, I didn’t need to. I got the message. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am blessed in many ways, no matter how bad things seem, and no matter how sour of a mood I happen to find myself in once in a while.
The stuff that I’m upset about in the here and now really isn’t “big” stuff. It’s small compared to what others are struggling through.
But, what helped me crack through with that perspective was the ability to “pause,” and observe myself through instant reflection. It was the ability to be aware even though I was in a foul mood. I was able to see myself in anger, but through a “different” part of myself, observe that it wasn’t serving me, and that I knew it wasn’t who I really was and what I am really about.
That “different” part of myself, however, isn’t something that just appears at will. It requires lots of internal work through meditation. It requires that I continually and regularly connect with that part of me that is loving, kind, compassionate, considerate, and everything else wonderful. It’s that “best” version of me that I need to connect with often, so that the “flame” of that spirit within me is present when I need it, and so that I know what it “feels” like so that I can grab on to it when I am so far removed from that “best” version of me, and pull myself out of those deep negatively emotional states.
I was happy to have been able to catch myself in that moment and know what to do to get out of that bad feeling. I know for me that once I start realizing how great life really is for me that I’ll realize life is too short to get angry about something that really isn’t all that important after all.
What are your blessings? What do you have going on in your life, and what do you enjoy in the here and now that you just take for granted, but are things that others would be so fortunate to have for themselves? Don’t forget your fortunes. And never, ever stop counting your blessings.