Plowing through the Day with Gratitude

Plowing through the Day with Gratitude

There’s much deep wisdom in “being grateful for everything that is going more than all right,” as my teacher James Baraz would say, to plow through despair when things are going terribly wrong.

Or even mildly wrong.

Or are just wearying.

Coping with the losses and changes from this current pandemic can be hard.   The truly good advice to be thankful for whatever blessings there still are can feel flimsy or cliched in the face of so many deaths and losses right now – pleasurable, nourishing activities, deeply nourishing face-to-face, skin-to-skin connections with loved ones and really-liked ones, losses of people whose lives we have treasured.

I’ve needed to take up the practice of looking for “yes” and “thank you” in the very moment of something going wrong to keep moving when the daily coping becomes “an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.”

Gratitude that when I dropped my wallet in the pharmacy parking lot (and drove home not knowing that) someone turned the wallet into the clerk who looked up my phone number and called me to retrieve it

My 25-year old washing machine broke down last week. Grateful that it’s in the garage and a repairman is willing to come out next week and fix it.  (Grateful that I still have the physical stamina to rinse/wring out a tub full of wet towels and blue jeans and spread them out all over the back yard.)

Grateful that when my watch fell off my wrist this morning it dropped near the toilet, not in the toilet.

It’s a practice. What’s right with this wrong?  And I do it all day long.

Cat got sick. Grateful the vet assistant was willing to meet me in the clinic parking lot and hand me the medicine that helped my cat get well.

Can’t meet friends at a restaurant for dinner.  But we did enjoy each other’s company, meeting for a picnic in someone’s driveway, sitting the proper six feet apart.

Can’t find toilet paper in the grocery store but found it in an office supply store.

It’s the turning toward yes, that keeps the heart open to the miracles of daily living, keeps awareness opening to the bigger picture, keeps us keepin’ on.

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was “thank you,” that would suffice.

– Meister Eckhart