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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Feeling alive

Almost every night before I fall asleep, I close my eyes and silently say my prayers.

No matter what is on my mind at the end of the day, there are a few things that have become a regular part of this prayer routine. One such thing is this: I thank God for the many blessings he has given to me and my loved ones, and ask that he help me to be more mindful and appreciative of the presence of these blessings in my life.

I think sometimes in our day to day life it’s easy to focus on what’s wrong or what challenges we’re facing. Or to become consumed with angst and longing for what we think we need or want. It’s in those thoughts that at times, our gratefulness can get lost. It’s easy to think the grass is always greener. It’s not always a default—at least not for me—to look at what I am blessed with first, and give thanks. And that’s a shame.

That’s not to say I am not grateful, or that I never recognize the blessings in my life. I am, and I do, every single day. But sometimes I think I need to be better. And that’s why I always include it in my prayers.

What sparked all of this was a quote that I came across today. It reminded me of the importance, and the power, of such behavior. 

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts our conscious of our treasures.” –Thornton Wilder

It’s so true. I am not happy (and certainly not much of a joy to be around) when I’m lost in the thoughts of longing or pain. It is in the moments when I recognize the beauty of the life around me, and take the good and bad for all that it’s worth, that I can find true contentment. And those are the moments that I feel alive.

I must, and I will, find a way to allow more moments like that into my life.  

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