To me, it seems like the world is going fucking crazy. I can’t watch too much news or my heart will break at how ugly and mean the national discourse has grown. There’s a fine balance between wanting to be informed and wanting to walk in peace.
I find myself looking for moments in which I can take a deep breath and fill my heart with gratitude. And let me tell you they are abundant. The idea of gratitude is not to escape the problems and pains of life, the idea of gratitude is to replenish so that I can, in some small way, make a positive impact in my world.
This past week, while on vacation, I went looking for a stamp, so that I could mail a card to my friend. You’d think that would be an easy thing to find in a resort town. Not the case, though. No one had stamps. The umpteenth cashier gestured toward a doorway. “Maybe there,” she said, waving her arm. The maybe there led me to the parking lot. Oh well. Then, I noticed a postal truck. I approached the postwoman unloading things from the back.
“Excuse me,” I said. “Do you know where I can buy a stamp?”
“How many do you need?”
“Here you go,” she said.
I gave her 50 cents, stuck the stamp on my card and she smiled at me. “I’m happy to take that for you,” she said.
That was one of those moments, when the universe just flings its doors open wide and whispers there is so much goodness in life. I don’t see them all the time because I am preoccupied with other seemingly important things in my brain.
The great 17th century mystic, Meister Eckhart, said: “if the only prayer you ever say is thank you, it will be enough.”
Sometimes I remember to close my eyes and take a deep breath and say thank you. I always feel better. It ‘s like the universe is saying thank you back. Thank you for being alive, for being a channel for the creative force.
These are harsh times and I don’t want to be sucked into the vortex of doom and gloom. I’ll watch some news. I will stay informed. I will not hide from the world’s problems. And I will do my best to be a light and remember how much goodness there is and how far a thank you can go. The universe is always opening to us. Gratitude is a good way to begin to see that. As my friend Jennifer always says, “Have a grateful day!”