Count your blessings. Never take a single day for granted. Be thankful.
Sounds cliché, right? People throw those words around all of the time, trying to remind themselves and others to be happy and to be thankful for what they have in life. As I sit here today, and think about the world as we know it, those quotes seem to carry a different weight and meaning than what they have in the past.
This blog entry was prompted by the tragedy that occurred on Wednesday morning in Virginia. Two innocent lives, taken in an instant out of hate and anger. Two young souls with so much life ahead of them. I am not going to go into details, read the news for that… but I am deeply saddened and truly disturbed as I learn more about the heartbreaking event. I feel a knot in my stomach and pain in my heart as I think about their families and loved ones, and will continue to pray for all of those affected.
Occurrences like this remind me that nothing in life is ever guaranteed. So often we wake up, expecting another "typical" day. We go through the motions- doing what we typically do, seeing the people we typically see, and experiencing the things we typically experience. Expecting them to be where they typically are. The idea that there is "always tomorrow" is so mentally engrained, we seldom take time to notice the present moment, and appreciate what and who is right in front of us. We take for granted the idea that everything will just continue to be "as we know it".
I am beginning to understand and realize that those expectations are not realistic. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us… The next hour, the next month, the next 20 years…. Nothing.
It sounds heavy, it sounds sad, but it is true.
Last night, my friend and yoga teacher quoted Lau Tzu:
If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.
I will be the first to admit that I spend a lot of time dwelling on the past and anticipating what is to come. I go through the motions of daily life, "future tripping" and not appreciating the subtle details of life and not being at peace with what is happening in the present (I have more to say on that at another time).
"I can do it tomorrow"…. "I will see that person next week"... How do I know that? I don’t. None of us do.
Today I am taking the time to slow down and think about all of the things in my life that I have to be thankful for. I encourage you to do the same. We spend so much time focused on the negative, frustrating situations, why not take a moment to focus on the blessings?
Here is a to-do list to think about:
- Tell your loved ones that you LOVE and APPRECIATE them. (I personally don’t think there is such a thing of saying "I Love You and Appreciate You" too much)
- Break your routines and old habits and enjoy the spontaneity of the moment.
- Focus on what is IMPORTANT in life.
- Take some time to truly SLOW DOWN.
- Call an old friend when you are thinking of them, just to say hi.
- Chase the dream you have been "thinking" about pursuing in the future.
- ADD MORE HERE :)
Nothing in life is guaranteed. Be at peace with the present and be thankful for everything you have.