I realized over the weekend that we are almost six months into the time of the Corona virus pandemic. It was mid-March when it seemed that the world had gone topsy-turvy. So much has happened during that time, and so many things familiar and sustaining have had to be put on hold. Like it or not, we all have had the emotions of grief and loneliness, anger and frustration added to our day to day lives. Isolation has become an unwelcome friend to many, and deeply held beliefs and values continue to be challenged.
How do we deal with these unpredictable times of real sadness and suffering? I remember a lesson I learned from my father, 42 years ago. He was losing his battle with cancer when one difficult and painful day his response to all of us who sought to be of comfort was a simple sentence: "Count your blessing."
"Count your blessing." From the midst of real suffering came a succinct charge: one which unlocked a treasure trove of insights on how to cope in a crisis. Look to what has been given rather than what has been taken away. Consider the gifts of our life rather than longing for what you cannot have right now. Clue back into those things which cannot be taken away, those pure gifts which constitute who you are: those things which give you authenticity and resilience, wisdom and insight which are unique to you. Operate with an attitude of gratitude rather than an outlook of deprivation. And, for me, never discount my belief that these blessings have been given by God.
Counting my blessings during COVID? For today, I am grateful for family and friends who love and support me with unconditional love. I am grateful that I am one of the fortune ones who is employed and in a job which serves others. I am blessed by having adequate shelter and food, a soft bed and the availability of medical care. I feel fortune enough to know how grate these blessings are, and to have been given the empathy to care about, and to be troubled enough, by injustices to motivate me to action on others behalf. I count the blessings of the vibrant colors of the crepe myrtle flowers, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the smell of the ocean, and the rhythm, harmony, and melody of music. I am humbled by the gift of faith. These things are helping with these times, for today.
What do you count among your blessings? See if making such a list can lift your spirit. I feel assured that you will find relief.
And I would be remiss if I did not say: thanks, Dad.