Whether I accomplish it successfully or not, I aim for this every day with family, friends, and strangers alike. While I know I neither have the right, nor power necessarily, to make things “better” for people, I still hold onto the hope (not so secretly) that I can at least help someone along the way find the good, the positive, and the beauty where they may not have seen it before.
This is one of those life must-haves…but in the whirlwind of daily living, it’s easy to forget to take a moment to truly appreciate all we have.
To love with every ounce of our hearts, and to respect no matter the circumstance means that we are ever conscious of the good in our lives. It sends the message to the Universe that we value the gifts and blessings.
One of the bigger lessons I learned early on was when I was told about someone’s therapy experience. Yep, not my own (in which I have learned much!)…but someone else’s…
They had been complaining about another person and the therapist said “what if they passed away?” The reaction was a staggered “what do you mean?!” He said, “what if they were no longer here? How would you feel about those ‘annoyances’ then?”
That moment was enough to change the whole tune. Literally evermore. It’s okay that we are human and feel as we do – the good, the bad, and the ugly. But it is also important for our well-being that we regularly check in with the good that we DO have – the things, the people, the animals, the circumstances…that make our lives better, happier, richer. . .more worth living.
I think about this often, but it was especially on my mind today. I’ve been thinking about my female jungle cat, who would be 13 today, and about how much gratitude had a part to play in our lives together. The bond with her and her brother was one that delved deeply, and struck me square in the heartstrings from the get go.
Part of me wants to apologize for feeling so deeply – I’m never unaware of the losses others have weathered, neither do I think anyone wants to deal with tears! Part of me wants to explain (or try to) that these were wild animals who never allowed another human “in” their circle…so it’s not quite like having a “pet” (which I’ve never really called an animal to whom I have been a guardian anyway.)
But I don’t want to have to explain, or justify. I just want to cherish that I had the fortune of my two jungle cats’ companionship, love and trust…and that while they were living I made a point to tell them “I love you” every single day.
In spite of feeling really blue, I know that I was “in the moment” so much of the time we were together. I was aware that time would run out one day, and so I always made sure to tell them what they meant to me, and to kiss them on their sweet little (big!) heads. Never mind it wasn’t in meows or mews… We spoke a language only we could understand…and it worked brilliantly.
I received this note along with a purchase I made on eBay and it absolutely warmed my heart. I’d say “what are the odds?!” but then I really do believe the Universe finds away to align things for the good…
I wrote this lovely woman a note in return to let her know her words fell into loving hands, and to offer words of support…which she so readily deserves. She is hoping to help her son “chase his dreams” to which I said how blessed he is to have her, and that as a team they will succeed.
I then shared this Audrey Hepburn quotation:
The world is made a much smaller and warmer place when kind hearts lead the way.
Everyone is always so quick to say there’s five seconds in which you can pick up your food an be safe. I think as a figure skater who dropped food on the floor during summer training (when the rink was open but the snack bar wasn’t) the “five second rule” was more in effort to salvage even the tiniest morsel of food…lest I (like one of our cats claims an hour before dinner time) waste immediately away to a pile of skeletal remains.
The sad reality is, though…it happens much quicker. I’m not sure who assumed germs are so nice-ie-nice but, hello, they aren’t exactly counting down on our behalf. . . E.g.: “Hang on, Irv! Kid didn’t realize he dropped that – let’s give him an opportunity to pick it up first!”
No…they’re just like our vacuum…er…cat…. They’re on those crumbs double-time (sorry to burst any dreamy bubbles.)
(For the record, that didn’t stop me. The lofty claim of germy kindness remaining my scientific excuse so I didn’t (not) starve to death. 😉 )
Most of the time it’s hard to tell whether the “celebrity” in question actually uttered the words in the quotation attributed to them. . .but I don’t put it past Abe to have said something so concise, and so wise.
It doesn’t matter what it is you do – whether you work, you don’t work, you help others, you’re studying in school, or taking out the trash. . .you should ALWAYS do that thing to the best of your ability.
Taking it a step further, I also believe a person should do it to the best of his or her ability no matter whether others can see them doing it – because in the scheme of things, the Universe doesn’t really care if you have an audience beyond yourself, and it.
Don’t make excuses. Don’t justify, internalize, or minimize. That “feeling” you have – great, bad, or otherwise? It’s dead on.
That elusive, evolutionary mechanism residing within your center – brimming over with feeling, and yet altogether “emotionless”. . . That space JUST KNOWS. Humans may indeed be flawed and fragile, but we have been designed – by whomsoever you chose – to survive against the odds. Our “gut” tells us when things may be tipping in our favor, and when they might go awry (there actually IS a sabretooth hovering in that bush behind you. RUN.)
Modern life has someone drowned to reflex, but it hasn’t gone anywhere. No, it’s still there, jumping up and down with red flags a-flying trying to tell you that guy isn’t good for you on any level…that the job relocation actually IS what you need…or that maybe you need to rest today instead of pushing yourself to the point of immune shutdown.
These days life is fast-paced and all-consuming – here I am typing these words, with a cell phone plugged in next to me, texts coming through…and three other windows open, one of which is e-mail. What happened to the “down time” of old? What happened to actually FEELING and be aware of our own physiologic sensations? Technology? Maybe… It’s certainly sped up the planet to a spin that’s hard to keep up with – forget about time for a coffee, let alone having a moment to catch your breath and re-calibrate with your gut. Meditation? What’s that?
Still…despite the onslaught of time-robbing “stuff,” the intuition is ever at the ready to guide you. That split second flutter you feel is trying to tell you something. So even if life has gone on warp speed…take a moment to LISTEN. As best you can. You don’t have to take a five-minute time out…just take a breath and listen to what your body, gut, and intuition is saying. It’s got your back 1,000% – think of it as your personal, built-in radar, programmed to keep you alive and well.
And if you are one of those people who ARE aware but choose to ignore it? Do a little test and listen next time… Making excuses or turning our cheek the other way? It only hurts us in the end.
I do believe that things happen for reasons – many of the lessons I had to learn stemmed from deliberately overriding my gut (consciously and unconsciously.) Neither, I suppose, is the better teacher – one just happens to be a lot less painful. Especially after the fact when that flutter says – in the deep recesses of silence at night – “I told you so.”
Yeah… You did.
Yes, I am one of those… I am thankful to have a glass, forget whether there is something in it or not (because, it is a glass, and that’s a great deal more than most might have.)
I’m an uber-optimist. I see the good in everything, beauty in unlikely places, and positive lessons even when faced with Life’s darker depths. It’s gotten me into trouble on occasion, no doubt – I am also known to be a giver (and not the best receiver.) Codependents might recognize the ring of that bell!
But honestly…I’d rather air on the side of seeing the GOOD in things, and forgiving when “hate” implores it is my only option.
I’m not blissfully unaware.
Nor am I above having bad days, moody moments, fits of tears, or overall stress.
Neither are my lenses completely “rosy” in the oblivious sense of the term – I do see rightly, and I will see both sides, for better and for worse…
But my focus? My FOCUS is going to lean as positively as I can get it to because anger, negativity, hate, and frustration are toxic. They injure ourselves as much as others – “holding onto poison,” as they say, isn’t so far from the truth.
So even when I am having a rough day, or I’m disappointed in myself… Even if something didn’t go “right”...I will do my best to remember I have a glass to begin with, and that’s quite a start, I’d say… I also have a faucet, and it appears to be a limitless wellspring…how about that?
Blessed, and then some.