Gratitude, Remembered

<April 7/12> So, I’ve been down in a pretty boggy swamp of despond, lately (my last few blog postings attest to that), but today I’m feeling human again.

Thankfully!

The world is STILL going to hell in a handbasket – that hasn’t changed, & I’ve had several alerts this past week or so regarding the situation in Fukushima being so impossibly precarious that the entire world has every reason to feel very, very sobered indeed… (Eek - this just in also).

But you know? Life is just lots more enjoyable when I don’t focus all the time all the time all the time on all the awful stuff.

  • The sun is shining today
  • A good friend sent me a cheery e-mail message (she knows all about the Fukushima stuff, better than I do, even, she is paying attention & more than paying attention) but we both take our joy from small blessings, hmmm?
  • Someone left an affirming comment on my blog (thank you thank you thank you!!  ) & funnily enough it was about all the gratitude postings. How timely, when I needed to be reminded of my own slightly messianic role in promoting gratitude! (which I had admittedly actually kind of forgotten about & needed to be reminded of )
  • When I was dumping out my paper recycling a teeny piece of paper with this quotation spilled out of the pile: “Abundance is not something we acquire. It’s something we tune into.” Wayne Dyer & this is true, it’s true, it’s true…
  • I’m going to be seeing a # of people I care about a whole bunch in the next couple of days
  • I had a good walk in the sunshine this morning early, & I made myself laugh inside when I came up with the idea of a new club called A*sholes Anonymous when I saw (more like smelled) a truck idling on the way back that I had seen 10 minutes before on my way up, & it’s not even winter anymore, Dude, so what is your deal?? AA. Yup. 
  • People on this GO train are smiling & being friendly (& just by pointedly turning & looking out the window when we were going by beautiful Lake Ontario, which everyone else was just ignoring, I caused one person to look out & notice its beauty too; so yay!!)

& of course the big trick about gratitude is that you focus on the good stuff, not the awful stuff. You focus on what you have, not what you don’t have (or have lost, & trust me, I’ve been down both those rabbit holes plenty enough myself) & when you work at this day after day, week after week, month after month, your list becomes very long indeed. Practice makes perfect!

(I’ve written about gratitude about a zillion times – all the postings are listed/linked here, & there are some pretty fine quotations about gratitude here)

Anne Lamott is one of my very favourite writers, & even though she & I are not really on the same page when it comes to religion, we are on the same page about something I am pretty sure I recall her saying once about prayer.

I think what she said (now I’m going to have to go & look it up, & I will, I will!) is that prayer is fine & good & worthwhile even if all you ever “pray” is “please please please” & “thank you thank you thank you.”(1)(2)

& I say “Thank you thank you thank you” a lot.

& the more I “do my thing” in the world (my “thing” happens to be environmental activism & writing), the more I am appreciated. & somebody has apparently said something to the effect that what we appreciate, appreciates (as in, grows in value, I guess?) Gotta check out this book & will report back soon….

So hey, world.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you

Me  

p.s. I think one of the biggest “poisons” many of us have ingested – as individuals & as a species, even – is the “taking for granted” disease. I’ve seen relationships wither up & die as a result of this simple but fatal disease – & I see things on our planet doing much the same thing. Check out the quotations on gratitude here & you’ll get an idea of what I mean, I think. We have failed abysmally to appreciate our incredibly beautiful, incredibly generous, incredibly abundant Earth & oh, dear me, we are certainly now reaping what we have sown …

p.p.s. gratitude, like virtue, is truly its own reward. (I want to say “no shit,” but that might sound rude & I don’t want to be too rude. So let’s just say “It really really is.”)


 

(1) A lot of years ago I discovered that you don’t even have to be a “believer” to pray. My own beliefs have changed a lot over the years & I needn't go into all that here. But it’s true that prayer does not have to be the sole preserve of believers…

(2) Sure enough I was wrong about Anne Lamott's prayer thoughts from Traveling Mercies - Some Thoughts on Faith (awesome awesome book, as are all of her others!!). It was "Help me, help me, help me" & "Thank you, thank you, thank you." But I was pretty close....