Appreciating What We Have

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.

We Can’t Always Choose The Music But…

Life isn’t always easy – it just goes without saying that there will be ups and downs, diagonals and roundabouts…  And, yes, maybe even some tornado-twirls thrown in for good measure.  

But. . .we always have a choice in how we manage events, and how we handle ourselves and our emotions.  I DEFINITELY could do a better job of being “in the moment” myself – it’s something I work on every day, particularly as my Empathetic self feels so profoundly.

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While it is something I try to stay ever mindful of, though, reminders never hurt.  This morning I woke up feeling down – I felt “old,” and that’s a feeling I’ve not yet experienced.  And yet here I am…happy, healthy, ALIVE. . .and so incredibly blessed. . .that “feeling down” is the part that doesn’t fit!  

We ARE allowed to feel – so I’m not angry with myself for being human.  I know it’s more than okay – and frankly most healthy – to acknowledge and be aware of the feelings.  But I also don’t want them to ruin my day and keep me from the activities I need to be doing!

So…I reread this wonderful quotation, took a deep breath, and said my thanks with a smile.  I may not always be able to choose the tune – or the onset of a feeling – but I can choose how I dance to it.  

And…how about this…I CAN dance in the first place, and that’s one more blessing to add to the heap! 😉