Last week I was in two separate social settings where someone mentioned similar ideas: If you could only have today, those things which you were grateful for yesterday, what would you have? Ouch. I’m sure it’s a brilliant quote by someone, but I don’t know it. I’m sorry.
And you would think, since I had just heard it a couple of days before, that the second time around I would be owning it a bit more and feeling a tad less wounded, but sadly that wasn’t the case. Since, however, I’ve thought of little else.
Here’s the reality, up until those two instances, I figured myself a fairly grateful person. I keep my One Thousand Gifts journal, I try to take care of the things I have and not covet or wish for the things I don’t. I try to be mindfully appreciative of people, things, gestures and moments. All in all, though I’m imperfect and flawed (naturally) I figured myself not a complete imbecile in the gratitude realm of things.
Well, you know the rest of that story. Ouch. Twice… Because apparently I’m a slow learner.
Since my word for the year is NEW however, I’m thinking maybe it’s time I approach gratitude and being grateful for things in my life from a new angle. Perhaps I stop looking for the fireworks and listening for the thunder, and instead I start looking for the tiny, often invisible bits, while listening for the whispers…
While I’d love to share a grateful list here that included things like “the mortgage we really needed came through” or “that her cancer was cured”, but my life is composed of an infinity of smaller moments that aren’t as explosive in sides, but could be in relevance. These are no less miracles, no less blessings, their volume is just turned down.
The handmade Valentine left on my desk.
homemade peanut butter ice cream.
drips of melted snow, from the deck.
four days of vibrant blue skies.
the fragrance of fresh roses that fill my home.
My husband’s eyes and how they light up when he’s surprised and feels loved.
laughing at a bad movie.
real mail amidst the junk mail.
every time he holds my hand.
And sometimes, sometimes they may not look like gifts at first…
the angry words written.
the denied insurance claim.
the unexpected business trip.
the truth that you just don’t want to hear.
the frustrating words spoken with someone who should be among your most beloved but you just feel like you cannot do it anymore.
There are times when the baddest, darkest and worst moments in our lives can lead us to paths and moments that will become miracles and joys. As my sweet friend Stephanie inadvertently pointed out, this past weekend, “Sometimes you have to give up on people. Everyone in your life is meant to be there, but it doesn’t mean they’re meant to stay.” And that may not feel like blessing to some, but for me it was. For me, where I was last week, I need that reminder that it’s ok to let myself off the hook. That sometimes people push themselves into a corner and we have no choice but to let them go and there’s nothing wrong with that, and for me, that is both a whisper and a firework.
My eyes, ears and heart are open, and I’m paying attention. It is never too late.
Pancakes and coffee
a great talk with a friend
uninterrupted time to write
overhearing sweet conversations
What are your whispers?