Interesting thought occurred to me. When I talk to people, I constantly hear of things that are not right in their lives. Basically I hear complaints about not having enough money, or not having the right relationship, or not having time to enjoy their lives and the list goes on and on. If I asked you to add to this list, you could populate this page in no time. Here’s the real question though. We all know what we don’t have, but do we know what we truly have?
I’m not here to advocate for the far side grass is greener. Perhaps you truly don’t have the things you feel you don’t have and I’m not diminishing it at all. Our needs can be consuming. I can’t help wonder if our needs would not be so consuming if we consumed them with thoughts of what we did have. So, I challenge you all to focus on everything you have, every little thing, and if you did it, what would happen? Would you start with the computer, or phone, or device you are reading this blog on? Well, that’s a really big thing. Not everyone can afford that. OK. Let me be oh so boring and oh so basic and oh so I’ve heard this before. What about food, shelter and clothing (FSC)? We talk about that in sociology classes and evolutionary trends of man’s need for FSC, but let’s think about it for a moment. There are millions of people around the world who don’t have the luxury of something so dumb and boring as FSC. If you ask me if I’m seriously talking about FSC as the big thing we have and if I’m asking you to focus on you having FSC instead of focusing on all those things you don’t have (the Mercedes, the bigger home, the boyfriend/girlfriend, whatever, whatever, and whatever), then the answer would be yes. Yes, I am asking you to think and focus for a minute about FSC.
Let’s break it down further. Let’s talk about food. What did you have for breakfast? What did you pay for it? Did you lose sleep over not being able to have breakfast this morning? Let’s not talk in terms of what you had, let’s talk about what you could have had for breakfast. Here’s the thing. This morning my husband and I went out to these donut shops and we had a warm apple fritter. It was amazing. I don’t want to talk about health issues here, but the thing is that the first donut shop didn’t have the apple fritter, so we went to another donut shop and got the amazing fritters. Never once did we consider these donuts as a privilege to even enjoy. We went, we conquered, but what a blessing it is? We were able to drive to the shop, which means we have a car, with gas, let me add. We had the money to pay for the donuts. If I wanted some other breakfast, we could go and eat and not think for a moment of the Grace that has been given to us. Sometimes we need to step back and just see what we take for granted everyday.
Let’s switch to the shelter part of the FSC equation. Where do you all live? Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have a way of controlling the internal temperature of your environment (a luxury, I must add)? As I’m typing this, I see the rain pouring outside my window and I’m all cozy here with this blog and never once considered the luxury of protection from the rain. Please don’t get fresh with me stating that you love the rain and all that. Yes, yes, yes. We all love to play in the rain, but what if you didn’t have the option to get dry after that and were left out in the cold and wet with no home to go to?
That leads me to my next question. Once you are home from the wet rain, do you have a change of clothes? How many options for clothing do you have? So, you see, if you were to take your thoughts away from the not-haves to the haves for a moment, you’ll realize and feel grateful for every T-shirt and pair of jeans and dresses and ties and whatever else you own.
I love writing about this topic because I could go on and on and on. I feel a sense of deep happiness and gratitude when I shower. It’s the abundant amount of hot water that I’m blessed to have and the luxury of soaps and shampoos and that in itself fills me. One of the secrets of life that I’ve come to realize is perception. If we perceive ourselves as having, then we have. If we perceive ourselves as not having then we don’t have. The truth is that no matter what you wish or desire or get to, there’ll always be something bigger and better and we set ourselves up for failure constantly that way. We are set up and destined for unhappiness. Why not change that?
There is another topic which kinda falls into this topic but I won’t really talk about it in this post. It is the topic of holding on to what we have when one element or aspect of what we have, falls apart. Maybe you lost your marriage, your car, your job, or God forbid a person close to you has passed away. How do you hold on? I just want to say briefly that we all have our days and horrible things happening to us, but somehow, we have to stay afloat and breathe one breath at a time, one day at a time, until we make it and until we can focus on what we have and what we gained from our loss.
My aim is to try to help people be more positive and feel more positive so the world can be more cheerful. We don’t have a choice. We have to try and we have to move forward and we have to believe or we stagnate and our minds and our thoughts decay and what would we be left with then?
Stay hopeful. Stay grateful.
Best wishes to all,