Sunday, 6 July 2014

A Little Bit of Positivity For a Sunday

Snuggled in among blogs on serious issues, and because it's the weekend, I have to reflect on my blessings.

It's a very good habit to start one's day doing this. Some people do it as a sort of gratitude prayer, whatever works, I say, but the idea is to remember how lucky we all are to have whatever we have, rather than give any time or thoughts for what we don't have, or what we wish would go away. 

I was reminded by a friend's Facebook post of the simple pleasure she was finding in her garden one morning. Why do we grow flowers? We can't eat them. Perhaps we altruistically provide food for bees and butterflies, but we also do it just for us. For the sheer joy of the colours. Pleasure comes from simple things. We know this, we believe this, but we forget this.

I swear I absorb happiness from bright colours. Something physics has yet to explain, but I can feel it. I believe somewhere in my brain the signals sent from my eyes from something with pretty colours on it, releases endorphins into my bloodstream. I FEEL it.

I am therefore very aware at how lucky I am to have a lifestyle where colour features very much in it. A delivery of beads, for example, or a wander through my garden. All sorts of things, throughout my day are colourful, and when I am frustrated or whatever, these bring me back to my happy place. And smells, I have a box of real Tibetan incense on my desk. I don't burn it, I just open the box every so often and the wafts of sandalwood and fragipani have the same direct effect on my brain as a string of purple beads.

So, as I said, simple pleasures. But I also look at other peoples' lives and think, wow, I'm glad I'm me. I'm glad I don't have to deal with THAT.

I'm especially blessed in my family. They are a wacky bunch, trust me, and sometimes it all gets so loud and chaotic that I need a break. I'm a funny mix of extrovert and introvert (apparently I'm an ambivert) in that I need both alone time and people time. Essentially I'm a cat, I like attention on my terms.

But each of them is different, funny, lovable, and none of them give me too many sleepless nights these days. I look at the worries and trouble other people get from their kids and I breathe a sigh of relief.

Then there's the bigger picture. Every day we hear of people who don't have enough to eat, who have no home, who live in a warzone, who face disease from dirty water, whose living is very precarious, and this can run from starving Africans in camps, to local people who are scraping by in a society where being poor is de facto against the law. I'll never be rich in the usual sense of the word, but compared to over half the planet I live like royalty. I'm lucky simply having been born in the 20th century. Poverty and suffering was far greater and far more common in previous times, and my status as a peasant would have been far more lowly.

I am a lucky person. Throughout my life whenever things could have gone either way, the vast majority of the time I lucked out. The stuff that went wrong all served a purpose, OR my attitude towards it was beneficial, and there's some luck there too. The personality I was bequeathed at birth, the teachers I've had in my life, and the physical strength to be positive.

I have had enough luck, and collected enough good memories that I can't complain, whatever the future brings. And I really have no room to complain right now. So when I find myself complaining, I give myself a good talking to.

It's all about balance in the end, and about attitude. So much of it is optional.

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