Sunday, April 12, 2015
LET GRATITUDE BE YOUR ATTITUDE
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” Buddha
So what are we left with in the final analysis? When all of the baggage of our personal history, emotional and intellectual alike, are neatly placed in a heavy duty Hefty bag, and left on our mind’s stoop, what is it that we do next with our life? How do we proceed to where it is we think we should be going, if anywhere at all? Is it possible our answers to our burning questions of career, relationships, and free time, are now within our grasp, finally? I rather doubt it…
I still have nightmares. I still have bad days. I still do silly, sometimes stupid things. I still wonder about the future. I still fret over my past. I still have unrealistic expectations at times. I still wonder what it’s all about. I still continue to try and understand who I am, and what is my true purpose? Still…
We are all works in progress. Who, when, where and why. These are the questions we must each face every single day we take a breath. There are no solid end points in this process. We learn, we try our best to remember what we learn, we fail, we try and learn from our mistakes. We experience some minor successes, we celebrate, then return to a more humble set.
We try to idle in balance with our circumstances as they present themselves. There is no recovery from life. It just keeps living on it’s own, of it’s own, and because it adamantly remains chaotically free of our intention to manage steering it’s course. The challenge is in the living, not the dying. Dying is so much easier.
No one has all the answers. Not religion, not spiritual leaders, not governing politicians, not the newspaper, the TV, the movies, the diets, nor the latest greatest breaking fad. It is not in fashion, nor music, nor theater, nor wealth.
More stuff is not the answer. More money is not the solution. Everything is temporary. We attach to this and that, and the next day or week, we find another batch of attachments waiting right around the bend.
We attempt to set some reasonable, attainable goals. We accomplish these goals, and the exuberant feeling of elated success is as fleeting as a day at the beach. We bask in the glow of our little miracles but for a short and sweet time.
We set new goals and begin to work diligently and dutifully at this new set. Time advances. We grow older. There are no end points. There is only one series of pursuits followed by yet another. On and on and on…
We begin to see a pattern emerge as we grow older and wiser to this unfolding of events. We might even begin to understand somewhat, what might be really going on. Boy, if I could only win the lotto! Then, my life would be perfect!
Man, if I just get that promotion, I will be on easy street! As soon as the divorce goes through, I will find the true love of my life!
School sucks! When I graduate, I will finally be on my own, free to be what I want to be! I will be in heaven as soon as I quit smoking, go on that diet, work out, get a new job, buy that new Corvette, that beach house, that pie-in-the-sky future… Nuh-uh…
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present.” Buddha
All of us are players in the World Series. This is the only game there is. We laugh, we sing, we dance, we cry, we pay. We will always pay. Pay with our time, our labor, our dreams, our hopes. We advance two steps, and we might fall back one. We try and get there in a hurry, and get a speeding ticket for the effort.
Somewhere inside of all this daily drama of being a human, there must be an answer. When do we arrive? Are we there yet? Maybe the journey is what is important, not the destination.
Yes we are there. Staring us straight in the face every waking minute is the only answer we’ll ever need. Right under our nose lies the meaning of it all. In spite of our self centered psychological fears, in spite of our immense propensity to place meaning in the externals of a material world, we can know a purpose worth all the riches in the world. It is quite simply, our attitude.
I wish to share a little something that works well for me. I am blessed to have this information.
“I would rather die believing there was a God, and find there was not a God, than to die believing there was not a God, and find there was a God.”—Author Unknown
Every day of your life is a gift from God. Don’t squander it. Don’t waste it by being angry with anyone. Don’t let it slip away by feeling sorry for yourself. Be grateful for this precious gift of life and spend it by being as happy and as thankful as you possibly can.
Let your mind dwell on the good things which have happened to you. Let gratitude be your attitude. Think of your assets, and don’t let anyone else spoil your day for you. Enjoy everyday of your life to the fullest. Realize that you can add to the joy of each day by making someone else happy!
Is there some freedom in this plea? Think about the weight of a bad attitude caused by whatever. What is it that each of us has 100% control over every moment? Our attitude…
What is it we can change instantaneously? We can change how we feel about ourselves. This might sound a wee bit naïve, but you must trust it is not. We drown in a sea of self pity and resentment. We dwell on that which we fear, and this creates those overwhelming feelings of dissatisfaction, of weakness, of failure.
How can we be grateful?
Let’s name just a few;
Are you breathing?
Do you have food in your belly?
Do you have a roof over your head?
Do you have a car in the garage?
A bike, walking is good. Parks are nice.
If you are anything at all like me, you can then quietly check off another hundred things in your life to be very grateful for. The hope and the faith immediately follow if you do this. Your problems, issues, concerns and worries will not go away after doing this. You will simply know that all is not lost, all is not a liability. Gratitude is the great balancing potion.
We make ourselves miserable. There is no one to blame. The blame game is one of our greatest failings. There is no they. “They” or “Them” is a fabrication we use to qualify our personal unhappiness. We can always find a million reasons to blame someone, or something, or some event that rules our poise, our grace, our dignity. We will never be free of heart, mind, body, and soul if we play this way.
This is not about sugar coating stresses. This is not about miracle cures for life’s traumas and setbacks. This is about a good way to deal with the aforementioned. To be free at last, we must let go completely. Just surrender.
You don’t own your life, but you can rent or lease your peace for a time. When you're down, look up, when your up, look down. This is not hard, it just takes practice. Essentially “You Gotta Keep Movin’.