Illness, accident, death. Loss of a job, a home, a child. Many of these are in no way a foreign experience to any of us, those unexpected tragedies life throws out. No matter your belief in why these things happen - to help us learn, as a consequence of our actions, just dumb luck, or any number of other justifications we tell ourselves - the sting is still felt.
As we cope with heartbreak, injury, and despair, it can feel overwhelming and suffocating. Life is a wild expedition. None of us escapes the pain nor the joy it brings. Negative may beget negative. Positive may beget positive. And, positive may still yield negative. Although, we still all possess the power of gratitude. This one thing can connect all of us as we share this thing called life.
In taking a moment to close our eyes, breath deep and recognize something of loveliness in our world, we find that the small things matter the most. I call this breathing sunshine. It’s warm and intense and engaging.
Life passes rapidly before our eyes. We accumulate memories of adventures and encounters - some wonderful, some trying. We feel kinship with others - some for a lifetime, some for just a moment. And, we dream and plan and hope for our future. We regret, we visualize. We muse, create and conceptualize. All the while hoping that this bullet train we ride that hurtles us through life at a startling pace would stop every once in a while so we may get off and stretch our cramping legs.
We cannot live in the past nor the future. What you have in front of you in this moment is where we live, this is where life happens, in the present, in this second. You can remember the tenderness or pain of the past or busily plan for the future, but you can only truly experience life in the present. In the few moments when a squeeze of your hand communicates no matter what happens, a loved one is there. During the realization that a continued flow of prayer and positive thoughts are being sent up on your behalf by those that know of your anguish. In the warm embrace of another human as they wrap reassuring arms around you and hold you tight.
So, breath deeply and ingest gratitude. Wherever you are, whatever you face today, be sure to seek out and recognize the beauty in your life, in this moment, and allow your soul to glisten in the warmth of breathing sunshine.
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