Loaves & Fishes

<July 2006>

I’ve come to think of my life as a “loaves and fishes” story.Of course, I haven’t always seen it that way.

For a very long stretch of my life (say, ages 22 - 40 or thereabouts), I was incredibly rich (not in money so much as in grace; life was very, very good) – but I guess I kind of took it for granted. I simply hadn’t yet come to understand the critically important need for simple gratitude in my life.

It took having it all explode in my face – in the form of a heartbreaking divorce – to wake me up (nothing like a serious wake-up call to wake one up, is there??). After spending a fair amount of time in shock, grief & self-pity, I woke one day to the realization that I needed to start focusing on the many, many good things I had in my life – the many blessings – instead of dwelling so obsessively on what I had lost.

This proved to be absolutely transformative. My attitude was transformed & so, gradually, was my life.

My friendships with women became both more numerous & much stronger – & I learned that one of the things people most enjoy in this life is helping others.

Friends gave me advice – meals – jobs – you name it! I leaned on them, & simultaneously I also learned once again to be strong & independent – but also how to open myself up gratefully to people’s generosity & caring.

I also "followed my bliss," career-wise, & lo & behold, after a while (not overnight, admittedly) found new job opportunities, a new relationship & a new community.

I don’t earn a lot of money, but I do love my life. I’m rich – enormously so, even. I often lay claim to being the wealthiest woman in the world, because very often, that’s how I feel!

The things I need keep coming my way – in almost miraculous (& definitely mysterious) fashion.

And I continue to be grateful – daily.

I cannot recommend this simple practice highly enough to everyone.

Do it for a while – give it at least a month – & watch the loaves & fishes gradually begin to multiply in your life!

Janet

p.s. Kahlil Gibran said, “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” Crazily enough, it seems to be true!

p.p.s. I’ve written about gratitude elsewhere on this blog. All the postings can be found, listed & linked here. Gratitude quotes are listed here