Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

When we expand and grow and the situations of our lives start to flow, when the going is good and the living gets easier, it seems only natural to be thankful. But what about all those times when nothing seems to budge? When we are stuck in the rush hour traffic jam of daily life and our bodies and souls start to feel like banged up bumper cars? When we are tested and pounded and pummeled. When things seem so crazy and out of control we wonder what do we have to be thankful for?

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
– Melodie Beattie

The greatest gift of the mind is, perhaps, perspective. Our reflective, rational side keeps us in balance, helps us from running wild with our myopic emotions. “Well,” my dear Daile once calmly commented in the midst of an intense work disaster that would normally have driven her quite mad, “at least nobody died.” That’s it, exactly. If we have a healthy sense of perspective, our lives become infinitely more precious to us and we automatically operate with an attitude of gratitude. In the words of Queen Doris Lessing, gratitude is “to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh.”

Those of us who have ourselves been ill, or who care-take others, have earned a certain understanding of this point of view. Aging helps, too. Even so, for most of us it is a daily, hourly, minutely learned lesson — one that we easily forget. One that we would be wise to remember. Despite the fears of economic doom, we all have an amazing abundance of abundance in our lives. Let us give thanks.

We are in possession of the greatest gift of being alive. Let us appreciate the bountiful blessings of breath and food and love.

All we have in this world is our life. We owe it to ourselves, the living, to be very, very grateful to be alive in this magnificent world. We owe it to the dead to honor their presence and influence in our life and times. We owe it to the entire complicated universe to live our precious life with full consciousness, conscience, and compassion.

And we owe it to Life, itself, to wake up each morning and retire each night filled with reverence and awe at the mighty miracle of it all, humbled, to have been even an infinitesimal part of the wonder, the wisdom, the intricately woven web of the world.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay
attention, how to fall down
into the grass…
how to be idle and
blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been
doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t
everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to
do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver
“The Summer Day”

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus