If you have received an email from me in the last year, you know that part of my “signature” says, “Bless the Present, Trust Yourself, Expect the Best.” This is not what I was taught growing up, which is why I need the constant reminder. I could write a book about each one of those three statements, but today I am writing just about the first one — Bless the Present.
How can I possibly “bless the present” when I’m presented with a cancer diagnosis, or a recurrence, or a marriage falling apart, or even simple things like my cat throwing up on my white carpet, or my hot water heater not working? It comes much more naturally to be upset, angry, and want things to be different.
But the fact is, life is what it is. My anger and upset isn’t going to change anything. I still have to clean up the cat vomit on my rug, or get my hot water heater repaired, or learn to live with a diagnosis I didn’t choose, or learn to accept that every relationship ends sometime. We all have something in our lives we would rather not have.
Since I am going to live with it no matter how I feel, I might as well choose to feel grateful. I can’t choose all of the events that happen in my life, but I can choose how I respond to them. The person who is most affected by my response is me so I might as well give myself some peace of mind.
As we move into a new year, it is so tempting to make at least a few “resolutions,” to put pressure on ourselves to become better, thinner, more organized, more whatever we think will make others love us more. But the practice of “blessing the present” also applies to accepting who I am today. One of the things we rarely resolve to do is to accept ourselves as we are – to embrace that how we look, how we function, how often we exercise is really OK.
My theme song for this year is a song entitled No Complaints Whatsoever by Jan Garrett and JD Martin. Here’s one of the verses:
The high road is surprisingly easy
Forgiveness shows up without a fight
Through the ups & the downs I see beauty all around
‘Cause I’d rather be grateful than right
So I get to play with what I’m given
And find such unexpected harmonies
Weaving the light with the deep dark shadow
Till the music sets me freeee
You can hear the whole song here: whole song here
What a concept, to just be at peace with who and what we are and have right now! I wish you a very Happy New Year — free of resolutions, free of complaints, and filled with acceptance and peace.
In the spirit of healing,
Jan Adrian, MSW
Founder and Executive Director
P.S. Do you have a theme song for the year, or something that’s inspiring you or motivating you?
Leave a comment, or read comments left by others.