Because we are a people determined to achieve, grow and evolve, our attention often lies in the realm of the next frontier, our unrealized potential, or our future reality. Even when we do live in the present, much of our energy is focused on "fixing" what is wrong with ourselves so we can reach those goals. What is working for us, or what is "right", often gets much less time on our agenda because most of us believe it is supposed to be right and hence, we should work on what is "wrong" to make it "right", too. Working to enhance our quality of life by developing strategies to eliminate obstacles keeping us from drawing closer to a more enlightened state is healthy, however, we must not forget to acknowledge that which feeds our soul daily...that which gives us the strength and courage to employ and execute those strategies.
Often times we don't realize how much we take for granted until we witness someone else going through a tumultuous experience we don't envy. We may be having problems with our family or children, for example, and feel as if we got dealt a less than favorable hand...until, of course, someone close to us discloses a situation much more difficult to weather than our lot. At that moment, while attempting to support them, a part of us is thanking whatever we identify as a higher power that we are not in the same boat. At other times, we make the mistake of "not knowing what we've got until it's gone"...whether it is a job, a lover, a friend, our health, a talent, or our lifestyle. When something we dismissed as a given is removed from our lives, we become disoriented and finally realize how much we relied upon that resource to be who we were.
The key is balance between reaching for what is beyond our grasp and being grateful for what is already in our hand. Think of it this way...if we made a list of the things that we have in our lives that are so meaningful to us, that we feel as if we could not or wouldn't want to live without, including people, our own attributes, aspects of our lives, etc. and then yet another list of the things we are striving for, we might find that there are few, if any, things on our "grateful for" list that we would trade for any of the things we want. If this is true, it stands to reason that we should spend as much time tending to and being grateful for the things that we love and cherish that already exist in our current reality as we do attempting to accomplish and acquire new things. There is something to be said for getting what you love AND loving what you've got.
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Erin Williams, Houston Life Coach