Have you had a time where one woe doth followed on another and you worried about what might happen next? When I was diagnosed with cancer and one test after another was booked, executed and reported on, this was how it felt to me. What next? Next would happen in the form of a phone call from X, my specialist’s assistant. I would answer her almost daily calls and she would say, “Trudy sit down, more bad news.” Somehow, by the time we hung up, however, we were both laughing.
She was a master of the wide angle view. She would zoom in on the “bad news,” with no attempt to make it pretty but before I knew it she had switched to the wide angle lens and had me looking at the entire landscape. Things like having the best surgeon, the excellent treatment, my good health (I know it makes no sense) fast response time, top notch cancer centre, and all the supports at my disposal…
What’s interesting to me is that we can have the same kind of experience where we have a stretch of everything going well. One good surprise following on another until we are covered in blessings falling like blossoms. (Rumi) And you also wonder how that came to be.
My experience is that life gives us both, most of the time. Everyday, we can find things to complain about, the unexpected things that challenge us, and things to be thankful for. And how and where we focus most of our attention is what will determine the quality of our well-being. Note that the answer is not to give up complaining – complaining has its uses. I prefer to call it feedback. We often need to give feedback to change what can be changed. But if that is all we do our lives will tend toward dissatisfaction.
Getting to say thank you dozens of time a day – out loud and silently and even scribbling a few down at the end of the day can remind us of the truth of our highly supported lives. And on certain occasions we can be so profoundly affected by an act of such generosity, surprise and thoughtfulness that it changes our life in some fundamental way.
My bottom line is this: we can’t go wrong with a practice of gratitude. And the only thing we need is our attention – to notice – the multiple ways we are all helped in small and large ways every single day. We may discover that we are wealthy even though we aren’t rich. Amazing.
This week I have received a bounty of profound and meaningful gifts from loving hands and hearts. I have been impacted deeply. When I don’t have words I go to the poets. This poet, Rosemeery Trommer, is a blessing in many people’s lives, not just in mine.
How to Say Thank you – by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
I want to bring to the doorstep of your heart
a giant bouquet of soft-petalled words,
a lavish bouquet of gratitudes
grown from seed in which each bloom
remembers each time
I watered it, encouraged it,
pulled the weeds from around its stem.
I want to have amended the soil
in which these appreciations grew
with the mycelium of devotion,
the dark compost of love.
It matters, the ways we say thank you.
Those two words disappear from the air
in less than a second,
so is it any wonder, when you
with your love have changed me forever,
that I want to bring you
a whole garden of gratefulnesses
no, a whole field of eternal thank yous
in which every flower is astonishingly open
and the perfume fills
every room in your heart.
Note 1:) A deep bow of thanks to those wonderful people changing lives. Here is a link to Hopeful Images 2020 by Alan Taylor in The Atlantic. I hope you enjoy these.
Note 2:) Another bow of thanks to every single person who reads my blog. Your encouraging words, and good warmheartedness is something money can’t buy.
Note 3:) The rain is coming down nonstop, washing away the dust of summer, on the last day of summer. I am enjoying listening to it through my open window.
Note 4:) At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer
Note 5:) Each day is brand new. Whatever is going on, do your best to make the most of it. May you enjoy this autumn time. Did I ever mention that I have the best kids in the world?? Warmest wishes, Trudy