What I’m Left With

Some mornings demand a reprieve from the news and all the stories of fear and conjecture, but I don’t always know this until after I’ve read my fill. 

What I noticed the most this morning were the headlines that offered might-happen stories or blatant-fear stories, and, of course, there’s always an abundance of opinion with an urgent voice adamant that what they believe is the only outcome. 

Now, I’m not speaking to either side of anything, just to my own spiritual well-being, because even though it’s paramount that I’m informed I also have to consider how much I can handle on any given day. 

If I just went off what I read today, I would believe that the world is ending in all sorts of devastating ways. 

Through all of history there has been a continuous stream of bad news, which doesn’t mean we toss our hands up and say, “Well, since it came before, we’re destined to repeat, so there’s no need to do a damn thing.” 

No, not at all. There’s always something to do, something to say, something to stand for. For me, the place where I most need to “do”, “say”, and “stand for” begins with my immediate surroundings.

First and foremost, I must remember there are so many things to be grateful for. This cultivation of gratitude is not to dismiss the bad but to balance the scales, to remember, even in the most difficult of times, there is grace in breathing, of having heat and water, of having a light to read by. 

And, really, I’m writing this post on an iPad and will post it to my blog. Seriously?! Gratitude should not be hard to find.

As a side note, the truth is, my most difficult and scariest days speak little to what some go through. 

When I read stories of people in other countries that truly don’t have a thing and struggle to live each day, whether they are in a war torn country or fighting to find food, I’m reminded that my “problems” are minimal if compared. 

And, yet, there’s also the truth that problems don’t need to compete to have importance. I used to believe otherwise, to the point of minimizing my problems to a fault, then I wouldn’t deal with anything. Nothing would get different, because I was too focused on everyone else’s problems.

Finding perspective for my problems is important, so I can, once again, balance the scales.

Secondly, I can inventory my own participation in my local community. Do I attend my local community council meetings? When I attend, am I participating? Asking questions and offering my comments? Do I vote? 

And the big question here is: If I vote, am I really informed? I used to think that just listening to the news or local gossip was enough to be informed. I don’t rely on any one source to give me the news now. And I definitely make sure to take time to read the opposition, because I need always challenge my beliefs and ideas.

Another area that I need to look at is, where do I spend my money? Because having a voice is great, making comments online and reposting articles, but the truth is my money speaks way louder than anything I can say. 

This one is interesting, because I bump up against me and my wants. I have to really question whether I’m willing to sacrifice my wants to back my beliefs. I don’t need to say a word to a living-soul to make a huge difference when I spend my money in accordance to what I believe, or not spend as the case may be.

When I bring my mind back to what I’m doing or not doing, I can begin to make changes. Similar to a small pebble thrown into a pond, our beginning ripple starts where we land in the water. 

If everyone started where they were, with what they wanted to change, millions of ripples would collide into mass waves of change. But when we stay stuck in reacting and trying to shout our way into change, we miss out on what’s possible

And maybe that’s what I’m left with, the possibilities of what I can do, as long as I begin where I’m at and maintain a gratitude-filled heart. 

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