Gratitude (In Crisis) - Pt. 3
I bet I can tell you what the topic of most of your conversations have been over the last 10 days. In fact, I'm so confident I know the answer that I won't even tell you what I think it is. You already know what I think it is.
We are all well aware of the elephant in the room here in 2020. It's frightening, impossible to get away from, and has stripped us of most of the normalcy we all so recently had in our lives. Normalcy being taken from you is already hard enough, yet even harder when you're waiting every day to pick up new clues as to when you can have it back. It's kind of like normalcy purgatory. 2020 feels very much like a no-man's land. So how, in all of this can we be grateful? And why?
Like everyone else, my normal is gone. I woke up at 5:30 this morning to go to the grocery store to have a chance at getting some ground turkey. I've been trying to buy some for the last the week. They didn't have it on the shelf, but a kind Kroger employee got some for me from the back. My gym finally closed down yesterday, which is probably the thing I've been most frustrated by losing. So after getting home from grocery shopping, I begrudgingly did a home workout. After the workout, I switched the music from 90's hip hop to a Spotify meditation playlist. I brewed a pot of coffee, sat down, closed my eyes, and suddenly felt an overwhelming feeling: gratitude.
Why am I grateful right now? I had to wake up early just to buy groceries, I couldn't work out at my gym, and all of my favorite coffee shops are closed!
I sat perplexed. Then it occurred to me; I have everything I need. I have my groceries, I have my coffee, and I have my living room gym. It doesn't look the way I'm used to it looking, but I haven't really lost anything. It turns out sitting still for a few minutes with a clear mind in the morning after a week like the one we all just had will make that clear to you.
We all realized whether consciously or not last week that everything we know (at least in the form that we know it) can be taken from us essentially overnight. This morning when I realized that what I have in my home is everything that I need, I also realized that it can all be stripped from me. That realization creates either fear or gratitude. Thankfully, I jumped on gratitude this morning. I imagine I will have to make a habit of that over the coming week/months (and quite frankly years).
Viktor Frankl talks about what got him through the terror of being a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp in his book Man's Search For Meaning. In short, he concludes that having a clear picture of beauty, a vision for what could and will be on the other end of suffering is what sustains one through said suffering. I believe this applies to our situation today as much as ever.
So meditate on the abs you will have from all of the home workout time you have for in the coming weeks. Think of the lifelong bonds and stories you'll create with your children, parents and siblings. Dream of the perspective and renewed mental energy you will have from all the books you have time to read now, and the songs, poems, and inventions that will emerge from others during this time that will inspire you to new heights of beauty and appreciation of life and love!
There is a beautiful unknown that would never have the chance to materialize if it wasn't for this moment in what will soon be history. Meditate on it. Watch how it sustains you. Gratitude is all around. Remember, even what you have now can be gone tomorrow. Enjoy it for every last droplet of what it is.