A few nights ago, as I was falling asleep, letting my thoughts
drift through the maze of activities of the day, thankful for my
health and vitality, it just hit me that every so- called challenge in our lives is just a new path of joy. There are
numerous established, well trodden avenues of happiness,
such as winning the lotto, going on a great vacation, meeting
someone extraordinary, being kissed by a beautiful sunset,
hearing a brilliant piece of music, etc.
But wouldn’t it be grand to blaze new pathways of bliss?
Like reveling in rising each morning because we can get out
of bed and eat breakfast, or open our lungs freely and take
in new air every few seconds, or know the surety of our
commitment to the well being of our own selves.
As I lay in bed, my mind glanced upon a strange occurrence
in my life. A few months ago, I got the flu. I call it strange
because I never get sick. And, as it turned out, this illness
became a bizarre, lengthy sequence of various, painful
symptoms that lasted several weeks. I got over it
eventually, but it remains enigmatic to me in many ways.
But here’s the aha!
Confined to my bed, my mind a muddy melange of sadness,
confusion, worry, and self pity, I eventually got to the point of
utter exasperation with my negative thoughts, and became
desperate to be healthy again. So I decided to think of
everything I was thankful for.
So it began, a journey of creating joy. Creating a trail through
the tangled brambles of my feelings of powerlessness and pain.
I’ve been that annoying type of person who tends to be
relentlessly optimistic, who will smile at most adversities,
and who is seldom shaken by seeming difficulties, but
this new challenge in my life totally knocked me off my
silver lining (literally), and it took every inch of will power
in me to start shifting my mind from sadness and
loneliness to gratitude. I was too weak, at the moment,
to write anything, so I began saying them softly to the air
in my dim lit bedroom. “I’m thankful for my bed, my soft pillow,
my friends, my family, that I don’t have a terminal illness,
for the birds I hear singing outside my window. . . ”
As I spoke, I began weeping, partly because of the exhausting
effort it took to exude those soft words, but mostly because a
great sorrow began to be unleashed from my heart as I turned
my thoughts away form the self-imposed prison of concentrated.
My tears fell everyday, as I continued to practice my commitment to
speak my gratitudes each morning.
Now, as I look back on that time, I realize it was a gift, just as
everything I may have misperceived in my life as a negative
experience. An opportunity, if I am willing to forge a new
path of joy. A gift to create a magnificent leap of consciousness.
So if you are fortunate enough to be experiencing something
like health issues, money problems, relationship challenges, etc.,
just say, “Thank you!” And become an innovator of elation. It will confound the people around you. They will question your
sanity. It will puzzle your friends. It will rattle some cages. And it
will open up new roads of bliss for you.
The idea and the doing are two different entities, of course,
but there is growth in the reaching for, like a plant bends gently
toward her grandmother, the sun. We can bend in the direction
of what we perceive as truth, and in that reaching, there is a
cleansing, a purifying, a freedom, and a new path of joy.