“Reflect upon your present blessings–of which every man has plenty–not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” ~ Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz …
Charles was a very optimistic person, as we can see here. We all have countless blessings in our lives, even at this very moment. And many of them pass by unnoticed because we are so narrowly focused on life. However, if we were to approach everything in our lives with appreciation first, allowing gratitude to be the glasses through which we see life and giving thanks for all that we have been blessed with, we would be filled, teeming, and overflowing with so much joy–for the normal would appear as it truly is… miraculous.
If we were to take several minutes to write down a list of people, things, situations, and occurrences in our lives that are positive and uplifting to us, those blessings would far outweigh the misfortunes we have experienced, and they would also outweigh the difficulties and hardships that are currently weighing upon our shoulders. And yet we so often allow ourselves to get drawn into pessimistic lines of thought–thinking of our past misfortunes–and our minds become occupied in the present moment with negative thoughts and ideas that fill our hearts with negative emotions. This, of course, makes it impossible for us to be completely present, with gratitude and joy, in the here and now.
The fact is that we always have the choice to decide how we wish to see the world–through the negative lens of past misfortunes, or the positive lens of present blessings. And the more we choose to stay focused on the latter, the more the blessings will continue to flow into our lives.
Misfortune is a part of life. But when it visits, we do not have to invite into our homes, allowing it to keep us company for much longer than is necessary. By continuing to focus on past misfortunes, we carry them as excess baggage in our lives, neglecting the positive that is right there in front of us. If, however, we let go of those misfortunes, leaving them in the past where they belong, we can focus on the positives in our lives and become more aware of the unending stream of blessings that are constantly flowing into our lives.
Focus today on the numerous blessings you have right here and now.
Questions to consider:
Why is it so easy for so many people to stay focused on past misfortune? What good does it do them?
How many blessings do you have in your life right now?
How might we go about keeping our minds on our blessings?
For further thought:
“Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?” ~ Leo Buscaglia