“Let your life be one big Hallelujah!”
How lucky we are to be on this planet and how ungrateful we are too. I mean, if you think about it, we are presented with so many gifts each day – people, places and things – but we clearly do not fully appreciate that we have more than enough, more than what is needed to be healthy and happy. I am a desperately miserable person in this regard. At the end of the day, I give thanks for as much as I can think of, but the list seldom goes beyond my number of fingers. Yet, when I am truly connected, I see my life like a whole department store of blessings and graces each and every day.
I’m writing a booklet on mental health for parishes right now and I present a reflection on poor self-image. Basically, I recall my experience of being single for many years and how comparing my status to ‘happy’ couples led me to feel sorry for myself. It was a classic case of deep ingratitude, failing to see the positives of being single, for example, the gift of a unique spiritual journey, creativity in my writing and making a difference in my career. When I step back and see the big picture, I am suddenly content with this way of life. On another note, I felt happy in my own skin this week on the Dublin tram (Luas) while being surrounded by other men and women, some of whom were probably single. What made the difference was a sense of communion between my mind, heart and body. I seemed to embrace my status and the gifts that it brought.
One way of glorifying my life is to smile as much as possible. This is not such an easy task in a world where people (me included) smile less and less as they grow older. How sad it is to see the vast difference in positive facial expressions between a baby and a pensioner. What gets us so down and gloomy that we fail to smile? Perhaps that’s a blogpost for another day, but we can always try to fake it until we make it! We can smile when others frown; we can stay in the sunlight when others choose the shade; we can sing when others swear and curse. We can glorify the ‘giver of gifts’ through our lives.