Yeah, I KNOW I've got that saying backwards in the title, but this is what I've been trying to practice these days. I'm already a PRO at making MOUNTAINS OUT OF MOLE HILLS, so I thought I'd give the reverse a try for a while.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of inviting two acquaintances-turning-into-friends over to my home for supper. Without disclosing too much personal data about my guests, I WILL say one of these folks is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and just recently lost her job...which also means, she just lost her HEALTH INSURANCE. She did not have a high-paying job to begin with, but it DID pay her rent and groceries...it also provided her with access to medical care to treat her MS. We spent much of the evening discussing the ins and outs of applying for DSHS (state aid), disability, unemployment, and so on (I even suggested she go to the ModestNeeds.org website just in case she has a financial emergency arise in the next several weeks).
As I sat and listened to my new friend talk calmly about her latest predicament, I realized just how close to the line of financial disaster she walked. I also realized just how close to a potential catastrophic medical crisis she might be heading toward...without ability to purchase her Betaseron, she risked falling into yet another MS relapse. I felt pulled by her situation, yet knew I did not have the means to resolve it for her...even if I wanted to. The most I could offer for the time being was a grilled steak meal (because my mother taught me eating well could relieve any stress! LOL), a quiet home to talk, and companionship. At the end of the evening, I bid them both farewell and hoped things might turn around for my new friend.
I've never been one to count my own blessings because I suck so badly at math. I see several bloggers writing *gratitude lists* and even THIS process feels somehow difficult or false for me (I'm not saying that applies to anyone ELSE who finds the practice helpful!). After all, my personal belief for myself is, if I am truly "grateful" for something, I will live my life in a manner that demonstrates my gratitude. In other words, I must try to BEHAVE in a way that radiates my gratefulness.
You may be asking yourself, "So how does someone "BEHAVE" gratefully?" Well, that can be a tricky question. I try to live my gratitude through action, word, and deed. Grateful behavior requires a mind set of abundance for me...I must believe and have faith that I have everything I need and I am fulfilled. It is a matter of *faith* that all is well, which requires a certain perspective.
When I am wallowing in fear, it is very difficult for me to radiate gratitude...my emotional walls close in around me in a feeble attempt to make a smaller basket in hopes of giving me a false perception that what I have will FILL that smaller basket. What usually ends up happening however, is the basket becomes so small as I try to conserve everything, that I begin to feel constricted and small...not fulfilled and with abundance.
Behaving in gratitude doesn't mean I shouldn't PLAN for unexpected events in my life (specifically financial ones), but it does mean I must have *faith* that there will ALWAYS be enough of whatever I need...be it finances, love, friendship, food, or shelter. And I have found when I am able to practice behaving in gratitude, I am much more able to participate in giving away my abundance because I will never be "short changed" in life. I am much HAPPIER in life.
Another friend of mine recently dealt with a disturbing burglary to her office. She was upset (among other reasons) that a particular rose quartz rock I had given her had been stolen and she was worried I, too, would be very upset by this theft...that someone had stolen something dear to both of us. I thought about the issue only briefly then said, "It was just a rock...now someone else has it."
So many times in my life, I WISH I could maintain the "it was just a rock" attitude. So many times, I wish I could always have the faith to behave in gratitude, but I am far from mastering this experience. I'm still working on my height perception and being able to distinguish my mole hills from mountains...