Be Present Be Grateful

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for his love endures forever
Psalm 136:1

The date is July 24th, 2011. I remember sitting in the quietness of a room, unable to sleep; sensing a deep desire to pray. I got out of bed and sat in my chair staring out my window. The rain was gently hitting my window and the birds were singing loudly within the branches of the deep green trees. My heart was filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude in the simplicity of nature.

I was at a hospice – a place for people with incurable illnesses who are cared for by a medical staff giving them love, compassion and assistance through the last days of their lives on this earth. One of those people was my sister.

I felt gratitude for the opportunity to be completely present emotionally, spiritually and physically with her. The present moment felt so precious; I wasn’t worried about the next day, nor did I care about what may have happened in the past.

It was with gratitude that I honoured my sister’s life, acting as her voice when she was too tired to speak, standing up for her quality of life whenever possible.

Given the fast pace and hectic schedules most of us keep, a base level of anxiety, stress, and unhappiness seems to be the new norm. We may not even realize it, but this tendency to get sucked into the past and the future can leave all of us perpetually worn out and feeling out of touch with ourselves.

I am sad to say that it was through my sister’s death; God made me very aware of my own fast pace living, always too busy to enjoy the little things that each day brings and always worrying about things tomorrow that I had no control over.

Today; I work very hard on self awareness, trying to live in the present moment  and trusting God to take care of tomorrow. I try to commit myself to prayer each day, as that is what keeps me peaceful. Learning to trust in God rather than myself. More importantly, I have discovered I am grateful for both my joys and sorrows in my life. I have learned that I need to say thank you until I mean it. If I say it long enough, I will believe it.

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