Count Your Blessings – Cedar Sanderson
Count your blessings, name them one by one. I was reminded of this hymn earlier, by listening to my husband encourage a friend. It does seem that an awful lot of us have had very rough personal lives this year. And I’m not even going to get into the whole brouhaha of the professional mess many of us waded into, heart and soul. But something we seem to forget is that it’s important to stop, take a deep breath, and count our blessings.
It’s easy to dwell on the stresses that are at the forefront of our mind, sometimes it’s harder to stop and think of what good has happened. It may be that you need somebody outside of yourself to give you that pep talk. After all isn’t this what friends are for? We can reach out and make a difference even when, well, sometimes a friend encouraging another doesn’t sound encouraging from the outside looking in. Listening to two guys exchange insults might not immediately seem calming or soothing but they know what they mean.
It’s important for us to remember the good things. If we lose them in concentrating on the stupidity that surrounds us constantly, we can run the risk of losing all hope. Without hope what is worth living for? It’s being set adrift, left floundering, without an anchor in a stormy world. I found myself thinking about this, I’m in the middle of seeking A college degree, changing careers, and generally turning my world and life upside down. If I didn’t have hope, there is no way I could continue and succeed at what I’m to attempting to do. We all have goals, even if the goal is just to keep living until the year 2016 sees its first dawn. And then just to keep on keepin on.
There’s a reason that the entrance to hell is said to be signed “abandon all hope ye who enter here”. Without hope, we are lost. Feeling hopeless is all too familiar to me, and something that I am very glad to no longer deal with on a daily basis. As long as you’re alive and more or less healthy, then there is a future, all hope is not lost. Sometimes I think we put too much weight on all of the political things, the huge struggles above and beyond a daily life, the collapse of all of Western civilization. It’s more than one person can deal with at any given time, but the little irritant on a daily basis, the hard day at work, the broken car, the burns hot water heater, the sick friend, I could go on and on and on. These are the true backbreakers, the little things that mount up until finally, there is one last straw on the camel.
Fortunately there are ways to lift the little things, and keep the load from ever reaching that critical mass. So much we can do ourselves, we can take the time to take a long walk, create art, sing a song, hold a newborn baby and delight in the smell in the softness and love all wrapped into one tiny bundle that looks at you with bright blue eyes. Other times we can’t do it ourselves, and we need to have others who give us some support until we get through the quicksand our life has become. And we know that in return we will help them when the morass is too deep for them to manage on their own. Life is not all bogs and swamps, there are days of golden light and crisp wine scented air in the autumn, days of brilliant sunshine and the waves lapping at the beach.
One thing we have to learn to never do, is to dwell constantly in bitterness. The only thing worse than that, is to become an inveterate offense seeker looking for the least little excuse to take offense and to lift one’s nose into the air, and pointer finger proclaiming the wrongness of that little thing. Taking joy cannot share space with taking offense. And for me, having a sense of humor is far more important than having a sense of self righteousness. Take some time today to think about what is joyful in your life, what blessings have fallen upon you, and then take some time to talk with a friend and compare joyful remembrances. You never know who is in need of a little hope, a little comfort, and a dollop of joy to season their day into something palatable.