Through the months of moving forward with Good Morning Gratitude my thinking was if I made my goal of writing here daily for a year, I’d possess a healthy sense of accomplishment. And there is a some of that today knowing I achieved my goal, but I don’t feel inclined to pat myself on the back. What I feel is an odd combination of gratitude and joy stirred in with humility combined with a sense of loss. The latter is unexpected.
As plainly as anything I have experienced in my life I can see the endeavoring toward my goal is what I have loved most. I know now this effort was never really about arriving at the finish line. It was about my journey forward. Getting to the one year mark is simply a side benefit. It is within the hard work spent on doing something very meaningful where the overriding wisdom I’ve received from this experience has been found. The sense of loss will be removed simply by continuing here in some form writing about my gratitude for all that living encompasses.
Success is not a place one arrives but rather the spirit with which a person embraces and makes their journey. The gift is the voyage itself! As a child I began to think my happiness was out in front somewhere waiting for me to discover. I grew up, but never stopped that childish thinking. It seems like lunacy now how, for so long, I had the notion I would get more happiness later by forgoing a lot of it in the present. Never was “now” or what I had good enough. My desire for more was insatiable. To no avail I tried a seemingly endless number of ways to sate my desire for happiness. And like one whose thirst could not be quenched, I was never happy for a long time. But my view is different now.
What is abundantly clear is being happy takes as much effort as being unhappy, but it does not take more! Ann Brashares said it well: It’s by living that you live more. By waiting you wait more. Every waiting day makes your life a little less. Every lonely day makes you a little smaller. Every day you put off your life makes you less capable of living it. How true those words are, but a year ago I could have only been able to admire the eloquence of the statement and filter out some surface meaning, at best. Today I get it!
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’! Audrey Hepburn once said. Her splitting up of the letters into two words with a new meaning speaks truth to me and I have adopted her thought into my personal repertory. More than ever I am capable of living the life I want and need. Three simple things are at the root of arriving at this knowledge today: 1) being consistent in the doing the work needed for my daily task, 2) focusing on my deepest thoughts and drawing them out to learn what I truly think and feel and 3) reading a tremendous amount of philosophy, psychology and other work for knowledge and inspiration.
… but this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: THIS IS IT. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience. Shauna Niequist
What’s just above and also about to follow both now hang on my fridge as a reminder in other’s words of what I have come to believe and know: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. From “Return to Love” by Mairanne Williamson
To everyone who encouraged me and everything thing that inspired me from the forces of nature to the mining of the great unknowns within my inner self I offer humble thanks. Most of all, I hold tremendous gratitude for the power greater than me, whatever it is, that brought me to this endeavor, has seen me through it and continues forward with me growing my awareness of what “IS”.
May you live every day of your life.