Grace and Gratitude

Yesterday I had breakfast with a dear friend. We were comparing life’s ups and downs, successes and failures, and how our age has given us new perspectives—about people, places and things.

It is empowering to realize that we and only we have the power to work through negativity, self-doubt, not feeling worthy or just feeling tired and out of sorts. It is a revelation when we realize that we actually do have the power to change our worries and resentments; to get out of what I call a “funk.”

It is a grace to understand that we can look; really look, at what is bothering us. When we see it for what it is, we can address it as a conversation with ourselves: “why am I feeling this way? What made me so angry? Why do I feel like everyone expects me to do everything?”

The next step is what to do about it. Obviously that’s not the easiest thing. Over the years I’ve learned that the best way to “clear the clutter” is to just address it: “Ok, that’s enough. I don’t need to be angry/upset/worried about <insert what’s troubling here>; I’m done with this today; I’ll address it <tomorrow, in the morning, next Tuesday, etc.>” This way we have a plan in place to put things right, or at least put them at bay until we are up to dealing with them.

It is perfectly fine to relax at the end of the day, saying to yourself, ‘that’s it; I’m done, I can do no more. I’m taking the night off.’ For me, late afternoon starts to slow me down and I know that I’m no good at battling various demons at that time of day. That’s when I say (out loud, too), “ok, boys—we’re done here. Let’s pick it up tomorrow after I’ve had a good sleep.”

Having said that, I can relax into the arms of the rest of the day, freed from all the what-ifs and have-to-dos. Enough, already. It takes a little practice, but you will be amazed at how soon this becomes a good habit. The “grace” part is that we can put worries on hold, and the “gratitude” part is that we can get the break we badly need. Not everything in our lives is our responsibility.

Besides, who but us is pushing us to finish up, carry on, and so on? We started it; we can finish it by letting it go for the time being. Tomorrow is another day; hopefully with more grace and gratitude. Remember this: you are worth it.

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