Gratitude’s a tough row for me to hoe. My mental chatter is always saying, yeah, but…I am grateful for this one thing, but what about this other unpleasantness? Why can’t everything be pleasant, comfortable, pain-free, and in perfect working order, simultaneously? It seems like one area of life “gets better“ only to have something else “go bad.”
Conventional wisdom rolls its eyes and perhaps emits a genteel snort. Where do you think you are, utopia?
Actually, I do think that. I believe utopia, the new earth, 5D, or whatever we want to call it, exists now and surrounds us and permeates us. Even if I don’t physically experience it, I believe it is.
And one way that utopian reality seeps into my everyday self is through the remembrance of gratitude.
My cat’s much better! Hip hip hooray! So happy am I. I hummed as I bumped the thermostat up a notch yesterday afternoon as the house got a little too cold for comfort.
Click. A buzzing sound emitted from the furnace closet but it didn’t kick in. Alarmed, I turned it off and turned it on again. Click. Buzz.
A martyred sigh, a phone call to the furnace company, and delighted surprise when they said they could be out the next day. La-dee-dah, all is good. We can survive one 24-hour period during non-frigid Santa Barbara December.
I went upstairs to put on warmer clothes and just before going back down, I heard a strange hissing sound. I found its source in the bathroom where water was flooding onto the floor.
I literally shrieked. I knelt in the wetness, hauled everything out from under the sink, and unsuccessfully tried to turn the calcified shutoff valves. Then I called our handyman friend who calmly advised, turn off the main shutoff and I’ll be over shortly to see what’s what.
I did that and then called our plumber, who noted, “Good thing I installed that new main shutoff a couple months ago or you never would’ve been able to turn it off. I can come by tomorrow morning to see what’s what.”
The upshot appears to be that I am absolutely useless in a crisis. My brain shuts off and I am immediately looking for help.
After the phone conversations and turning off the main shutoff, I sat down and caught my breath. I had two dialogues running through my head. One was following a jittery path of worry, dollar signs dancing in my head at two unplanned professional service calls.
The other, which glowed brighter and lured me its way, was: oh thank God our friend was home! And the plumber can come tomorrow! Thank goodness I noticed the water quickly. It didn’t happen in the middle of the night.
Sometimes I wonder if discomfort and non-optimal circumstances are tossed at us as a test. Or, more kindly, simply a reminder.
There’s always at least two viewpoints to any situation. If one of them encourages feeling grateful for the assistance or other positive aspects of it, why not follow that golden path?
Gratitude may be a tough row to hoe, but it’s feeling more natural nowadays. Spontaneous, effortless gratitude is in itself a surprise gift, wrapped in an unexpected package.
Post script…We have running water. We have a working furnace. We are blessed indeed.