I’ve been reflecting over my experiences lately and I’ve come to realize that we take a lot of life for granted. Whether it’s the people in our life, our health, our wealth or even the food on the table, we often find ways to get complacent and ‘expect’ it all to be there day after day.
A really close friend of mine was recently diagnosed with a very serious illness, and it was heartbreaking to hear. Not only because of the thought that I might lose him, but also because I would’ve never expected something like that to happen to ‘us’; considering how young and full of energy we are.
We’ve also been through a lot in terms of the civil unrest + the third wave of the pandemic here in South Africa. I’ll touch more on that in next week’s post.
Today’s post is going to be a familiar talk on gratitude. The emphasis, however, will be on ways to improve our daily engagements to appreciate life a little more. There are some incredibly simple steps that we can take to make a worthwhile difference. Let’s talk about observing nature, being more vulnerable, expressing our feelings, showing gratitude and appreciating ourselves.
Nature nature nature
I keep coming back to the concept of spending time in nature because I honestly think we all really underestimate the power it has on our psyche. One of the ways in which I personally make the most of my day is by spending some time surrounded by nature; whether it’s in the garden, watching the sunrise/sunset, going for a walk, listening to the birds or even just staring at the clouds.
Just like we constantly need to be connected to the internet, we need to also find ways to be connected to the planet. The more we are able to appreciate the gifts that are all around us, the less likely we will feel like we’re taking life for granted.
It sucks now that we’ve entered multiple lockdowns, we have travel restrictions, inflation and taxes are making things more expensive, we can’t really socialize or adventure as much as we used to. What can we do tho? Strengthen our relationship with nature and mindfully observe how we’re all interconnected – find ways to transcend mass consciousness.
Vulnerability and expressing our feelings
One of the ways in which we undermine our capacity to live life to the fullest is by falling short of telling people how we truly feel about them. We are not vulnerably honest enough. We keep beating around the bush, hiding our feelings and waiting for some future state of preparedness.
It’s not too late to start telling the people who mean the world to you, how much you truly love and care for them. In fact, we should make it a regular habit to do just that. We often get caught up our worldly demands, that we tend to neglect those who are closest to us.
Tell them you love them more often. SHOW them you love them more often. Stop waiting for a birthday, an anniversary, a special occasion. The more love you give to the world (and yourself), the more love will be returned to us.
We appreciate ourselves when we’re able to truly cherish who we are as individuals. As flawed, as weird, as imperfect as we may be, there’s still so much that we’re remarkable at. More and more, we’ve been conditioned into a very specific societal view of what ‘normal’ is meant to be. We ache to fit in and ensure we’re not outcasts; it’s part of our DNA (survival depended on us conforming to group norms).
We’ve reached a point in time tho, where we don’t need that same level of conformity. We shouldn’t have to force ourselves to change who we are, to be loved and appreciated (within certain limits, obviously). We should start appreciating our quirks and realize that it’s what makes us unique. It’s what differentiates us from the rest of the population.
You are incredibly special. You have so much to offer the world and those around you. You are loved. You are capable. And you are absolutely worth it.
Don’t lose hope and stay grateful
Energy follows focus.
It’s always about being thankful. It’s always about appreciating other people. About appreciating what we have. About focusing on our blessings.
It’s been rather chaotic over the past few months, so many different reasons. Yet, our blessings and all that we have is still immeasurable. Don’t lose hope. Don’t despair. Have faith. Trust the process. You will get through this. Faster, stronger and braver than ever before.
It may seem impossible now, but you’ll think back and be astonished at what you’ve accomplished. Take care of those around you as much as you can. Spend enough time in nature. Express your love and affection to those you care about.
“Live for the present like you’ll die tomorrow. Plan for the future like you’ll live forever.”