Before I ever sit down to write, the thoughts have swirled around in my head for minutes, hours or even days. I usually have a good idea of what I want to say and a sense of how I intend to say it. However, not today. I am distracted, perhaps even annoyed. What’s to follow is probably just a big ole mind dump. And while I’m uncertain as to what will follow, I have a pretty good inkling that I’ll manage to offend someone!
I’ve been awake since 3:30 this morning. I woke up, had something on my mind and couldn’t get back to sleep. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does I normally amuse myself by mentally designing the home I’d like to one day build. This morning was different. I lay in bed with a family member on my mind and I prayed. And I prayed some more. Then I called in the “big guns”–all the angels and spirits and my favorite, Archangel Michael. I had a true heart-to-heart with Jesus himself. I may have even begged a little.
I finally gave up the notion of sleeping and got up. However, before my feet ever hit the floor, guess what I did? I prayed some more! Now, if you know me, or even if you only know me through this blog, you know I’m not the epitome of a church-lady. However, I have a deep faith and I believe in prayer. As I prayed again, it wasn’t prayers of healing and health, I did what I do every single day: I sent up a prayer of thanks! But wait, isn’t “prayer” all about asking? I suppose if you think it is, then it is. I consider prayer simply communication with my creator. (And truly, does it matter if we say God, Universe, Creator, Mother Earth, or something else if we are acknowledging a life-giving force? Personally, I don’t believe so, but the specific religion a person practices does tend to be nitpicky on this one.)
Today, just like every other day, I expressed gratitude for the opportunity to face the day, for my health, my home, my family, my pets, my ability to make choices, the food we have, my friends, and on and on. I am truly grateful for each day I get to spend on this earth and for the people and animals I share those days with!
As the day unfolded, my thoughts started churning (and here comes the part that probably offends someone). I thought about the interactions I have on a regular basis with people and I realized how many times those interactions are negative, needy, and me based (not as in me the writer, but the other person). How many times have I heard the same conversations–complaints, why-me’s, somebody-done-me-wrong, I’m broke, I’m sick, etc.? Many. And how many times have I heard good news, strong decisions made, joy-of-life stories? Let me tell you, the scale is sadly off-balance on this one! (I must stop here and say that if any of my friends or family is reading this, I’m not saying stop calling to share with me, because I’ll continue to do the same…I’m just making an observation!!!)
So back to prayer.
Today I am feeling drained by all the recent interactions (partly because I am an empath) and I suddenly thought, “Wow, this is how I feel with a handful of people in my life, how does God do it? Every moment of every day, people asking for this or that, bemoaning the life they live, cursing God for their misfortunes. That’s why God is God and I am not–I would have snapped by now!”
Finally, my point: We all complain too much, appreciate too little; see the negative too often and the beauty too seldom; and play the victim over the warrior because it’s easy.
Over the past several years I have steadily decreased my grousing and increased my appreciation, stopped playing the victim and instead take pride in feeling empowered, and do my best to see the good in others and encourage others to see the good in themselves. Guess what…my life is so much better than it used to be.
It’s certainly not easy to change behaviors, but it’s doable and worthwhile. Right now, with the craziness of the world, the sad pool of presidential candidates, viruses, cancer, and food-borne illnesses running rampant, police brutality and a litany of other negative circumstances, it is far too easy to focus on gloom and doom and negativity. We all know the saying like attracts like and it’s true. While our circumstances may not be rosy, by focusing on the negative we feed it and give it our power. Instead we need to, collectively, shift our focus to the good, our blessings.
When we tune into the news, we get thirty second (biased) sound bites about the world around us. Do you ever notice how often the same story is repeated? Often for days. Why? Because the news is seeking out negativity and sometimes they don’t find anything new. So ask yourself this, if there isn’t enough new drama to fill a thirty minute show each day, what percent of life is really bad/evil/scary? There are a whole lot more good people, good events, and kindness stories we could turn our attention to!
No, I don’t wear rose-colored glasses, but I refuse to let a few bad people or things in this world steal my peace, cause me to be ungrateful for what I do have, or take those around me for granted.
Obviously I’m not God so I’m just guessing here, but wouldn’t God/the Universe/Creator be so much more pleased and surprised if you came to him/her with your thanks and appreciation on a regular basis rather than only sending out an S.O.S. when you are in need? I know one thing for certain: YOU will feel better about yourself, your life and others if you seek to live with an attitude of gratitude!
The Yellow Kite