Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Perfect Moment

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” ~Buddha

As humans, we easily take things for granted. Although few of us have concrete reasons to be unhappy, we nearly view complaining as a birthright. Regardless of how unfortunate we are at any given juncture in our lives, the hard times are usually temporary, and we are able to bounce back if so we choose.

Being thankful for the blessings in our lives is a skill we can learn to master. Each day we start a new page of our reality – we can choose to rewrite the lines of yesterday, or begin a new chapter. If the pages already written could use some editing, it is never too late to work on them. There is always room for improvement, yet there are things in our lives that are perfect the way they are, if we stop a moment and acknowledge their existence.

One of my mother’s friends once told me that every morning he thinks about the people and things he would not want to live without, then says a small prayer of gratitude.

Generally speaking, very few of us – if any at all – are completely aware, and consciously thankful, of how much we have going for ourselves, as we rarely pause long enough to acknowledge everything in our world. Let’s consider health, for example – we don’t realize how blessed we are until we begin to have problems. All the days we spend pain-free and absorbed in something else, we probably never give a second thought to the fact that we are healthy.

The same goes for about everything else in our lives. We might run short of money and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a month. Yet, we have eaten and we are full – our immediate need is taken care of.

We might just be recovering from a broken relationship, during the course of which someone betrayed us. Maybe they did us a favor by timely showing us their true colors, thus giving us the chance to meet somebody else who can really love us the way we deserve.

Realistically, we will never be totally happy until we decide we are going to be. No matter how wealthy, loved, or successful we are, we are going to want more. We can look at things in two ways – we can notice the beauty of our surroundings and enjoy being where we are, or we can be on a constant road trip that will likely lead us nowhere.

In this particular instant, ask yourself what is missing for you to be happy. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, nor the day after. Consider this one moment and determine what is missing and what is available to you in this second. What’s already there is very likely more plentiful than what is not.

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