Depression is a cross I bear and one I am learning to build up muscles for, while I am carrying it. When depression kicks in, my "I don't care" glasses also come down around my eyes, and that can be detrimental to my health and to my finances. When I look through those glasses I don't see beyond the here and now. Looking to the future is too painful as I only see a bleak one. Instead I have to work with what I have, the here and now.
One of the ways I fight my depression and build up my mental muscles is to see the world around me with a bit of gratitude. Just a small lens is all that is necessary to shine a small speck of light and brighten a dark place.
1. “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”
If we appreciate the items in our life that are now considered "necessity" we will not appropriately appreciate those that are luxuries. Those luxuries that are now necessities (depending on your location and age) are cell phones, answering machines, email, warm water, indoor plumbing, cable tv, electricity and the list goes on.
If we don't appreciate how we live now or how we play, we become numb as new items, new ideas and new people come into our lives. We appreciate the moment or the item but then it becomes part of our everyday life and we then feel we deserved it in the first place.
When I have paused and looked around me at my friends, family, and everything that is important to me I realize how truly rich I am. Appreciation for the birds singing in the morning as they wake me up makes me feel part of something bigger than myself. It takes the focus off of me and lifts my spirits.
Complaining simply drains the speaker and the listener mentally, putting a tarnish to everything we see around us. All we see is that nothing is good enough and has worth.
If I take a moment to be grateful for someone or something, I recall the original reason I appreciated that person or thing coming into my life. It is like taking a step back into time and the emotions that were there on the first meeting come flooding back. A smile may come to my face as I recall the importance it brought to my life.
We don't savor much anymore. We eat in our cars or standing over the sink, so we don't have to clean up as we head to somewhere else. We leave before the 9th inning or the final bow at the show to get to the car and beat the rush of traffic if we can. It seems the only time we slow down is to watch tv or go to sleep. Neither of which allows us to enjoy the moment of time, the people around us, or the world that moves on outside.
I sold a sofa to a man on Craig's List and before we even exchanged money for sofa, we talked, for a good hour. Initially, I was perturbed that he was so talkative and didn't just pay and leave me alone. I had to realize that this isn't always about me. Sometimes I need to slow down and go with the flow. I don't recall anything major about the conversation but I learned to make myself slow down and just enjoy the time I had in front of me.
Sometimes I feel so horrible about life to really think of anything to be grateful for, so I go with the easy basics. A roof over my head, a comfortable bed to sleep in, food to keep me alive, a group of family and friends that care. Eventually I start to remember more and more items and, my attitude changes and in turn helps me through the day better than any shot of caffeine, pill, or ray of sunshine could do.
When good days, weeks, or years come, I must be appreciative. Not because I am doing well but because it is when I am doing poorly that the times I am good are that much sweeter. I need those valleys to help me appreciate those high hills and when I am on those high hills, I need to look on those valleys and be grateful for them as well. Good times are the other side of the coin to the bad times. We can't have the beautiful world in the daylight if we don't also have the night to make it so bright.
I hope these thoughts and quotes have opened up a river of gratitude for you and I thank you for taking your time to stop and read.