I was thinking about this on my walk tonight but I was also imagining that we are not the only family feeling this way. We are not the only people who deal with struggling to feel grateful, this is universal.
I catch myself and I remind myself often that things could be worse and/or I try instead to change my mind and focus on what might be a blessing in the situation that feels less than positive, I try to find the good. I believe there’s a higher purpose for everything and I also feel like coming face-to-face with our own thought obstructions towards our happiness and our homeostatic way of being can help us to become stronger in our mind and soul.
One practice I would recommend to people who are going through hard times, whether it be being a special needs parent, being a parent in general, dealing with an illness, dealing with a loss, struggling financially, any kind of hardship that you may be facing, is to just stop the repetitive negative, draining, guilty, shameful, depressing thought patterns and choose to focus instead on what is right and what feels good in the moment. There is always something that we can feel grateful for, even in the darkest times and the times that we are struggling the most to stay positive. Even if it’s just concentrating on our breath and being grateful for being alive in the moment and having air flowing into us and giving us life.
I love to go on walks and so I feel a lot of gratitude when I look up at the trees and I feel the warmth of the sun and the wind blowing on me. Even in winter, I admire the beauty of the snow and the way the trees hold so much wisdom.
Another thing I love is just to sit and spend time with my kids and listen to their wisdom. I love to hear my son singing little songs or with Serafina who can’t talk, we just sit and she looks into my face and gives me kisses or touches my cheeks. Kesa also has a great imagination, so it is easy to come out of my own head when I get to hear her fanciful stories, inventions and plans.
The second practice to elevate our frequency and our mood is to try and find the blessing in what seems like a curse in the moment. There’s got to be something good that’s coming out of the seemingly negative situation. It may be hard to find but there will be something that will come out of the situation that will be for your benefit, even if you do not see it yet. And even if it seems like you live your life and you die and things never worked out for you, sometimes things in our lives are meant to happen to us to alter the future generation. Whether that’s our own kids or something we leave behind, some wisdom that will help future people in their struggles.
The third thing I do is imagine what I want to feel and what I want the outcome of the situation to be. Our imagination is a very powerful thing and when we are focusing on the negative or perpetuating the energy of what we don’t want, we are staying stuck in that reality. If we instead start to imagine a positive future or outcome, a higher frequency of being, and imagine the way we want to feel, (or we at least decide to stop feeding fear or feeling sorry for ourselves and our situation), our energy will change and we will feel less depleted and depressed and we will begin to have a new sense of hope, gratitude, and joy for life.
Yet a fourth tip to put into practice is to get your mind off what is bringing you down, or change your scenery for a while and do something that you know brings you joy. Where is some place that brings you peace? Who is someone you can talk to who can make you feel better? What is an activity that puts a smile on your face and reminds you of the good in life?
I hope this little taste of inspiration has been a source of nourishment for you in some way today. We all struggle. Some of us struggle more inwardly than outwardly and our struggles are private. Some of us struggle with more noticeable situations to the public and that can be even more difficult to deal with, but I think it all still goes back to our thoughts and how we decide to view the situation that we are in, who we are, and our life as a whole.
Thoughts are powerful and the good news ultimately is that we do have the ability to change our thoughts. Even though some situations come with negative thought patterns, as is our natural human tendency, the human will is such a strong force that we can change those patterns and consciously choose to elevate our spirits.
All this said, I also strongly believe in the power of prayer and I think this goes hand-in-hand with that. Thoughts can be prayers. When we change our thoughts we are choosing to surrender negativity and fear and instead believe in something greater, a force that we can abide in while we are going through a difficult time.