Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gratitude


The thing I don’t want to do right now is to write.  It’s not that I don’t love to write, but I’d rather sort through comic books or read comic books and eat popcorn.   I wouldn’t even mind reading or going to sleep.  What this tells me is that I need to write.  I literally need to write.  My mind needs it in order for me to stay calm.  My spirit needs it so I can be in God’s presence.  Even my body needs it so that my stress is reduced.  I know what I want in life and though I have no evidence of this, writing is the key to getting what I want.
             Though this seems unrelated –  better writers connect one sentence to the next and transition smoothly from one paragraph to the next, neither of which I’m doing – I need to express my appreciation to my Muse for allowing this self-expression.  As I said, it keeps me calm.  My mind tends to move very quickly, sometimes too quickly.  I often consider several ideas or options at the same time and this can be overwhelming.  In addition, my mind is good at imagining worst-case scenarios, and this often leads to fear.  Writing calms me down and gives me peace.  When I feel this peace, I also feel joyful and loving.  I want to love people for who they are, not for what they can do for me (which is not really love at all).  When I start writing, I feel happy.
Sometimes, however, I can’t write.  I don’t mean I’m procrastinating; I’m simply not able to write.  I might be working or driving, but my mind is still going to unhappy places.  What do I do then?
Today I tried something that I’ve done before, and it was incredibly effective.  Now, again, if I were a better writer, I wouldn’t use the adverb “incredibly.”  I would just say it was effective.  But it was incredibly effective, because my mood went from one of negativity and fear to peace and joy.  What did I do?
I practiced gratitude.
I know I’ve written about gratitude before, but all good things are always new.  That’s part of what makes them good.  So today, when I was feeling fear, I started giving thanks.
I said, “Thank you.”
For my health.
For my body and that it could move freely.
For my children.
For my car.
For my job.
For the weather.
For the green lights.
For the banana I was eating.
For my life.
For my writing.
For pens to write with.
For books.
For the money in my pocket.
And most of all, most of all, for my Muse who inspires me to Get Started and Keep Going every day.  In her book The Magic, Rhonda Byrne says, “Gratitude is the answer.”
What is it the answer to?  Everything?   Perhaps.  Or perhaps there are several answers including diligence, action, worship, waiting, self-care, and others.  But I know this.  After spending several minutes listing things I was grateful, I began to experience a deep peace.  With peace, came joy and love.  My mind starting being creative again because it wasn’t blocked by fear. 
Interestingly, some happy circumstances occurred later in the evening.  Were they coincidental or directly related to my gratitude?  I don’t know.  I just know I felt good.  When I feel good, the circumstances usually don’t matter. 
This is not, as I said, a new lesson, but a much-needed reminder.  Without wanting to seem dramatic, I think most of us are involved in a powerful struggle for our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls and we need all the weapons we can get.  Gratitude is one of those weapons, and I’m grateful to have it.