Sometimes we feel sorry for ourselves and we have trouble looking outside of our own situations and worries. We may feel financially strapped, disappointed, unlucky, lonely, old. I have even had friends who have felt that their lives weren’t worth living any more, though they had so many good things to live for. I have worked with addicts who abuse drugs in order to numb the pain that they cannot ignore. I have lived with alcoholics who “check out” on a daily basis.
It is so important to try to keep things in perspective. Don’t just think about yourself; think about the other people who need and depend on you, especially if you have children. No matter how bad things may seem somebody else has it worse and still manages to live each day to the fullest, enjoying the littlest pleasures.
Just when you think things can’t get any worse you will likely hear someone relating the saddest story ever told, and you realize just how blessed you are. Maybe your story is the worst one ever told, but I know that mine isn’t. I’m not:
A crack baby,
An abducted child,
A parent who has lived to lose a child,
A rape victim, or
I often think about some of the terrible things that people live with:
Burn victims who are blatantly stared at if they dare to leave their homes. Not only are they ogled, they live their lives in constant pain;
People with M.S. who are wheelchair bound and unable to feed, clean or dress themselves, while their minds continue to work perfectly;
Blind people, unable to enjoy the simplest visual beauty that we take for granted, like our child’s sleeping face or a blooming flower;
Innocent children who have been physically and/or sexually abused.
When I take the time to consider their circumstances it seems crazy that I could get upset about a commission that I have lost or a pound that I’ve gained, or any of hundreds of little things that we let get in the way of ourselves every day.
When you’re feeling really badly, make a Gratitude List. Spend a few minutes luxuriating in all that is good in your world, rather than what is lacking.
Here are a few things that I am grateful for today:
My morning workout with Friday (he’s so good!),
Making breakfast today for my children, one of their friends, and watching them eat it up,
The sun is shining,
I’m going to a movie with my children later,
A birthday party for a good friend tonight.
I’m not going to focus on the things that worry me. Rather, I am going to go outside and look up at the sky, letting the sun warm my face. I’m going to donate clothes to people who need them.
And then I’m going to buy some multi grain bagels, one of my greatest pleasures.