There is a power in calling forth the feeling of gratitude, that can lift you from the lowest depths of despair. I know this first hand.
Right now, I’m living through an exciting time of my life. It’s also a terrifying time.
The fact is, I am dead center at a major crossroads in this lifetime of mine. The first act just ended abruptly, like the series finale of the Sopranos, where the lights just shut off. Boom: first act, over.
Common sense leads me to believe that now I’m supposed to begin my second act. Apparently however, I’m stuck in some kind of intermission. Instead of hanging out in a lovely lobby, next to a cash bar, and getting to buy a souvenir t-shirt, or maybe a collector’s program, I’m just stuck in this dark, static, crossroads. Which means that my second act can go any which way. Taking away my particular slant on it, (i.e “dark” and “static”), the fact that I have different paths I can choose to proceed with, actually sounds liberating, and even exciting, right? And yet, fear has its dirty hooks right into my heart. Fear is pointing me directly at the most terrifying and depressing paths that my imagination can conjure up. This fear thing is no joke. It’s powerful. It can kill you. At the very least, it can paralyze you.
Luckily for me, I’ve spent the majority of my first act, obsessed with learning and reading everything I could get my hands on that dealt with “Self-Help,” then “Self-Development,” then “Metaphysics,” and then ultimately, pure “Spirituality.” Put another way, if Oprah knows your name, or if you are on the booking agent’s list for her “Super Soul Sunday,” then I most likely also know your name, and have read your stuff. And the through-line message from most every source I’ve studied, is that gratitude is the most powerful way to direct your emotional set-point away from fear, towards relief, and ultimately towards happiness.
So, finding myself at this crossroads, in this terrifying intermission between the great acts of my lifetime, it’s clear that now is the time to focus on gratitude, before I get swallowed up by this paralyzing fear. It’s time to focus on what I’m grateful for, right here and right now.
The location of “right here” is sitting on one of the new Adirondack chairs that my mom recently gifted me, out on the deck of my place in the hills. The time is a beautiful, cool, summer evening.
The following is what I’ve written in a journal, stream of consciousness style, while sitting on the deck, and focusing on gratitude:
I’m so grateful for these chairs from my mom. I’m so thankful for her generosity, kindness, and great taste. I’m so thankful I get to enjoy a great friendship with my mom. She’s able to send me gifts like this, and even better, was able to visit me, so we could sit and enjoy the chairs and the view together.
I’m so thankful that I can sit and look out at this beautiful view of the Hollywood Hills.
I’m so thankful, when I sit and hear the cars race on the roadway below, that I don’t have to race somewhere myself. It seems like some of them are racing to wherever, as if their life is depending on it. I’m so thankful that I can sit here and contemplate, and not race.
I’m also so grateful that I do have a car, and that I can drive on that same road to anywhere I please.
I’m so grateful that I have the health and ability to drive myself.
I’m so grateful for all of those driving lessons that my Dad patiently gave me when I was sixteen, as I worried and delayed taking the driving test for six months after I could have, because I felt like I “wasn’t ready.” Night after night, after work, we would go out in his vintage Mustang, and practice driving and parking, until I did feel ready. I’m so thankful to have these nice memories of my Dad. (By the way, I passed the test just fine, and am so grateful, that to this day, I have the privilege to drive myself anywhere.)
I’m so grateful that now I can just renew my licence easily and by mail every five years, and not have to take another test, thanks to a good driving record! Those six extra months of preparation still pay off.
I’m grateful to the photographer at the DMV that day a few years ago, who took an excellent picture of me, so I don’t cringe when I have to show my license. (Like they always seem to do in sitcoms.)
I’m grateful for my ability to write, to collect my thoughts on gratitude, and to compile them onto this blog post.
I’m grateful for the blog itself, and for the WiFi access that I have, and for this laptop, and for the job I had that paid for the laptop, and for this beautiful patio setting I have before me, as I write this, on this comfortable and stylish Adirondack chair, that my mom gifted me.
There it is. A Rampage of Gratitude. That felt amazing.
Coming out of this “rampage of gratitude,” riffing on what I can find to be thankful for in the here and now of this moment, ushered in a surge of blissful energy. I felt pure love.
The bonus is, that at this moment, I don’t have access to all of that fear anymore. This gratitude stuff works! Simply focusing on what I am grateful for, and finding so much more to be grateful for than I first realized, left no room in my brain for fearful thoughts.
Try it out for yourself. The same feeling of pure love and bliss is available to us all.
Look around you, and focus on something you have in your life. Think about how you are grateful for this something, and let the thankful thoughts roll from there.
If you tap into this power of gratitude, I guarantee that you are going to feel better than you can ever remember feeling.
Thank you. So much. ~ Foxzm