Sundays are Spirituality Day here at Taking it to the Streets
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. I’ve always taken this cliché to be about missing companions – be it through a simple absence (business trip); a severing of relationship (divorce) or death. I’d never really thought to apply it in any way other than to people.
I’ve discovered the past few days that it is a corollary of the phrase from some old rock music “you don’t know what you’ve got, until you lose it.”
That song, too, was about lost love.
But as I begin to recover from a rather virulent flu that came in out of nowhere, I’m fondly remembering feeling more robust. It’s a GORGEOUS morning in Chicago – a perfect day to hop on my new motorcycle and drive around the beautiful countryside near where I live. While I feel much better than I did yesterday, I’m fondly remembering feeling robust.
I’ve discovered that this “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and “you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it” are wonderful doorways to one of my favorite spiritual paths – gratitude.
I could, of course, bemoan my fate (“I’m sick! and it’s gorgeous out! and I’m supposed to leave on Tuesday for a much-desired vacation! Oh! woe is me!”) – and I’ll admit that I DID bemoan the ‘sick before vacation’ part a bit.
Worse yet, I could take offense that ****I*** have been singled out and am unjustly suffering. So so not true.
I could ignore what’s going on (not so much with this flu….)
Or I can use it as a great springboard. Wow! I only have a flu, not cancer like several friends. And, I have a great health care provider whose tips have already lessened the impact. I’m feeling much better than yesterday. — I call that situational gratitude – I’m grateful that things are getting better and that my troubles are small.
But I can expand my gratitude. I can think globally – how totally and completely blessed I am compared to the vast majority of the world. I can put this current malaise into a broader time-span in my own life – yes, I’ve had the flu for a few days, but overall I’ve been blessed with robust good health and with information and helpers to help me maintain practices likely to add to my good health.
I WOULD like to be out on my motorcycle this morning. I AM tired of resting and while Lisa’s medicinal tea is most assuredly helping me really I’d rather drink coffee or Good Earth tea. Those things are true.
What’s also true is:
- It’s a stunningly beautiful morning in Chicago (no matter if I’m on a bike or on my couch)
- I’ve gotten to spend a LOT of time with my two precious kittens
- My natural state of robust, energetic good health is rapidly returning to me
- I’ve had a lifetime of blessings – in the continuum of time this is a mere drop, compared to the ocean of blessings
- I’m so much healthier and robust than many other people – I am blessed
Gratitude is not new to me – it’s integral to my spiritual path and has been a daily practice since 1996. But this turnaround on “absence makes the heart grow fonder” – now that’s new! And what’s also new, as an aside, is that I had always thought this was another of Ben Franklin’s useful aphorisms. Turns out is was written by Thomas Haynes Bayly, an English writer, circa 1844.
So how does this apply to YOUR one wild and precious life? What is currently absent, though generally plentiful, for which you can be grateful. I really want to know!