June 9
We have a tendency to obscure
the forest of simple joys
with the trees of problems.

Christiane Collange


Today's Meditation:

As I understand what Christiane is saying, we don't recognize the many, many simple joys of our lives because we focus so strongly on the few problems that are in our lives.  We may have fifty things to be thankful for within our vision right now, but we can't really see them because we're so caught up with the money problem or the relationship problem or the work problem.  We seem to spend so much time focusing on the things that are going wrong that we give the things that are going right short shrift.  The squeaky wheel really does get the oil, doesn't it?

I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't had this tendency so strongly.  I've been fortunate enough over the years to leave the habit behind, but for my early years I could go days without appreciating or being grateful for anything at all.  Of course, those were days when depression was playing its awful games with me, but sometimes I think that I sure would like to have them back--minus the depression, of course.  I have to think, though, that the depression might not have been so bad if I had learned to pay attention to the "forest of simple joys" instead of keeping my mind attached to the depression.

It does take effort to keep our eyes on the blessings.  When we had to foreclose on our house, we made a great effort to make sure that we didn't let the situation get us down, and we kept reminding each other of the things that were going well, the things that we still had.  When I was laid off, I did my best to keep my mind on the blessings in my life, and the potential I had for improving my situation.  It wasn't always easy, but the effort always was worth it, and the situation never really did get me down because of what I've learned about focusing on the blessings instead of the problems.

We all have problems.  Many of them are horribly difficult to bear, and they never should be dismissed as unimportant.  But even as we deal with them, we can keep in mind the many simple joys that we all have in our lives--and those simple joys can keep us in a state of balance instead of a state of unbalance.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of problems do you have that keep you from seeing the blessings in your life?

What would life be like if we were never to lose sight of our forests of blessings?

Why is it so easy for us to keep our focus on problems?

For further thought:

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.

John Lubbock


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