It sounds so easy, if I don't like my life, if I'm not joyful and satisfied, all I need to do is change my mind and I can have all of those things, right? Sort of right. But for some reason I want to cling to things that make me miserable so I can whine about them. I mean if my life were great, wouldn't I feel guilty around all the people whose lives aren't great? Okay, maybe my life isn't great because I have lost perspective.
No matter how bad my life may seem, lost my job, upside down on my house, my dogs bark too much, I'm not wildly popular or rich, my bananas went limp, I'm behind on my bills, I'm disorganized, I'm estranged from my sister and brother, I'm overweight, all very important things, one thing I'm sure of, there are many people on planet earth that would give anything to have the life I live. I think unhappiness is a lack of perspective. Not having a job is terrible, but having 3 part time jobs is how blessed I am to have 3 people or companies willing to hire me in very tough economic times and pay me a decent hourly wage so I can maintain my lifestyle.
When I watch the news and hear about all of the people who are living in their cars and vehicles because they lost their job, their home and can't even pay rent, then I know that I am truly blessed.
When I see people whose health has failed them, suffering from cancer, recovering from surgery, or are differently-abled in a wheelchair or on crutches for life, I know that I am truly blessed.
When I see a soldier who has returned from duty maimed or injured beyond recovery of their former life just so that I may live in peace in this great country, I know that I am truly blessed.
When I see whole countries that struggle to provide clean drinking water and sanitation for millions of their people, many dying from cholera, malaria, Hepatitis A or AIDS, I know that I am truly blessed.
When I know that millions go to bed at night malnurished, hungry and thirsty not sure what or if they will be able to eat tomorrow, I know that I am truly blessed.
When I look at the numbers of women who are raped or beaten by someone they know or love and fear for their life and the lives of their children, I know that I am truly blessed.
I guess when you put things into perspective, my petty problems are just merely inconveniences in a very blessed life, and I need to realize that I'm doing that human thing where I focus on the 5% that is wrong with my life and not the 95% that is very right. Just going through this exercise has helped me change my mind at least for today.
Jana Stanfield came and stayed with us last fall (2008) and ended up writing a song about our coffee mugs that say "All that we ask is that you stay open to changing your entire life by changing your mind." I hear she recorded it for her next album, can't wait to share it with you.