Look Up

ImageIt’s almost 3 a.m. France time, so I’ll keep this short lest I get rummy. Getting frustrated with an imperfect (read any) situation is easy and so is complaining. It takes no thought and no real consciousness or character. You just react like a child at a loud noise. Instead, you can choose to look up at the fireworks bursting open before your eyes for the very first time.

There are blessings all around us at every moment. Life is full of truly good things, and even the most difficult day has something good to offer. Like the day the tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma: May 20, 2013. That was the day I finally worked up the courage to tell my students that I wouldn’t be coming back the following year, and I was able to be there for them as we hoped the school wouldn’t be hit, and our loved ones would survive. We made it, and so did my husband and those at his school as did my father in law with our home 100% intact.

Even now, it’s easy for me to feel traumatized by that day when I see any photos. But when I look more closely, I see the love and compassion and the blessings of life and the fact that we were at school or work and not at home, the areas of Moore that were hardest hit.

I’m in the country I have chosen to call home, but it’s such a struggle. I tell myself “I’ll be happy when,” but the list is never fully checked off. We moved here to get away from the future-oriented mindset we disliked and the “more is better” mentality, but I’ve got to leave it from the inside, too.

Perfect moments are rare because our attention is on the things we don’t like instead of the ones we do most of the time. In this life, we are surrounded by perfection masquerading as imperfection.

I challenge myself and anyone reading this to change your focus and look for the blessings, the things/ moments/ people that you are grateful for each day for three weeks. Write them down, tell a friend, but record them in some way. And even if it’s just one blessing you see, start there. Otherwise you might think you’re in hell while you’re actually living your dream.

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