Regardless of the chaos we seem to be living in currently, the bigger picture includes opportunities to be grateful. Sometimes it’s difficult to find gratitude in our hearts; we have to dig deep to find things, even small things, that enhance our lives. But they are there. For example, the past few days at my house have been cold, rainy and gloomy, but today the sun is out, and it’s a beautiful day. It raised my spirits. There was even something good about the preceding days; we needed rain badly, and the earth drank it in.
I continue to maintain my gratitude journal; I list at least five things a day that I’m grateful for, and I always find them as I rethink my days. Doing that task helps me sleep better.
Can we find gratitude in the undeniable facts of our world: a nail biter of an election, Covid-19, wildfires in the west, hurricanes in the south and east, deep racial unrest that must be addressed? Those are all serious issues that we can’t just gloss over; we have to meet them head on and work through them. So, I’m not talking about a Pollyannaish view of things, just an invitation to take brief breaks from the negative reality to look at what it positive, which is also reality. Doing that may help sooth our fears and anger at all the carnage around us.
The first thing we must do at the beginning of this month is vote. It’s a concrete way to have our say and is critical in these times. If you haven’t already voted, please do so.
Another thing we must do is work toward our goal of corralling the coronavirus by wearing masks, washing our hands, physical distancing and staying away from crowds. These are easy things to do, and they have been shown to help.
We may not be able to do anything directly about the fires and hurricanes, but we can support in whatever ways we can those who are helping relieve the devastation of both of these natural disasters.
We can educate ourselves about racial injustice, and follow through with whatever actions we can take to stop the oppression of races other than white. Why I have to write that confounds me. It is long, long overdue.
Then, November 26 is Thanksgiving Day. Let’s take a little time to rest in what is good in our lives. The chaos will still be there on the 27th, and we can continue to deal with it then.
Another thing that can help get us where we want to go is write about our experiences, feelings, actions and all the things that matter to us. Here are a few prompts to get you started.
Think about something you can do to contribute to solutions to the problems that face us as individuals and as a part of the community of all people and write about your conclusions. . . or questions if that’s all you have right now.
Make a list of gratitudes you have. Include everything you can think of, no matter how small or how inconsequential they may seem. They all matter and can make you happy to write them down.
What is the most important issue to you right now? Write down everything you can think of about it and why it means so much to you.