We can hold our breath until all that is happening around us passes. This too shall pass. It will pass, and at some level, we know that.
While we’re steeling ourselves against the fears and uncertainty, however, we’re also holding ourselves closed off from the good stuff too.
Yes, good things are happening amid illness, death, protests, lost jobs, physical violence, smashed finances, and strained relationships. Stunning and uplifting things are still present even while we’re sick of being confined indoors or behind masks, away from others, or when we fear for the unrest in our cities, between citizens of all colors. The core of our heart’s goodness still radiates when our hopes for a secure future are dashed, when what we and our families have worked so hard for is yanked from underneath us. At the very least, inconvenience can feel oppressive.
Gratitude helps us stay in touch with the goodness in life. Remember what you feel when a stunning sunset takes your breath away? Or when your pet or grandchild looks lovingly into your eyes? These things don’t happen in a vacuum. These things haven’t changed or gone away.
I have a friend who posts daily pictures of gorgeous wildflowers blooming everywhere or deer who have moved into the parks where she takes her exercise walks. Her social media posts remind me of the beauty in the world, even if I’m not out there seeing with my own eyes.
Lots of wonderful sights, sounds, and everyday happenings that create and inspire the best in us continue to occur every day, every moment.
We just need to be open to them, to be on the lookout for their presence where the brightest lights are often shining on the negative things far beyond our control. As you know, the snarky things, the dangerous and sad things will continue to occur in our lives, as always. We need to pay attention to these less uplifting messages and heed their warning. We need to act to correct wrongs and to protect ourselves against illness, death, and self-destruction.
Expressions of gratitude will allow us to see the thin rays of sunshine peaking through the blinds of angst, negativity, and worry. Open the blinds each day to acknowledge and allow in the goodness that gratitude brings forth.
Expressions of gratitude are within our control. These specks of pure light remind us of the love we have to give to ourselves and to others, regardless of ethnicity and beliefs, regardless of fear and reactions to that fear.
Gratitude is the mighty sword of support in difficult times. It’s free, it’s available, and it’s yours. Use it.