Gratitude in the Yuck
"The trouble is you think you have time." Buddha
Several years ago Ed a longtime mentor and dear friend of mine and his wife came to my house for dinner. At the end of the night he gently and lovingly patted my cheek and said he just wanted to look at me one last time. He flashed me a sweet fatherly like smile and said: " I love you baby." He then went on to say it was probably the last time I would see him. I hugged him tightly and wished him a good night and asked him not to say such things and told him that I would see him soon. He softly whispered that I wouldn't. He had recently suffered a stroke and was depressed. I assumed that was the depression talking although somewhere deep inside I had a nagging feeling and feared that he was right. I ignored it. Several weeks had gone by and I thought of him often. I kept meaning to call him. Stop by. Invite him and his wife for dinner again. I was a single mother of two young boys at the time and as you can imagine they and my work schedule kept me pretty busy. I kept telling myself I would call him tomorrow. August 28, 2010 I had just left a wedding ceremony and was on my way to the reception. My cell phone rang and his number showed up on the caller ID. I was so excited to hear his voice. I answered the phone and quickly started telling him how much he had been on my mind. I heard a female voice telling me Ed had passed away. It took a moment to process the words. I didn't understand why I was hearing a female voice and not his. When my brain caught up and the impact hit, I heard a sound come out of me that I'd never heard before..... A primal guttural scream that immediately brought me to my knees. I will never forget that moment nor all the pain and regret that followed. Nor do I ever want to.
The pain and regret reminds me to never take life or loved ones for granted and to be present given that the next moment is not promised. When my kids make a mess I focus on the gratitude of their presence. When I have a cold I am grateful its not cancer. Whenever I am served a big fat plate full of yuck I honor my pain but shift towards gratitude as soon as possible. This helps me heal, learn, grow and experience more joy in my life. If you tend to focus on the yuck and why its happening to you, I guarantee you, you will stay stuck in the yuck and will most likely become increasingly cynical and angry. Want to create a huge positive shift in your life? Practice gratitude even in the yuck!
Train your brain to find the good and positive in everything and watch what happens. Would love to hear your stories and comments. I welcome your questions.
Verna M Lisa
Dedicated to Ed who taught me to see the gift of the moment no matter what it looks like.