Monday, March 10, 2008

Gratitude

I have been noticing a behavioral pattern about myself that I don’t like, and I don’t think it is an isolated tendency proprietary to my own character. We as a people all tend to do this, and the more I discuss the topics with others, the more I believe that it is a natural human tendency. But enough with the cryptic verbiage, on with the topic.

It has almost been 3 months since Anna and I started dating each other. What I didn’t notice then, but am become more aware of now, is how happy I am. That is not to say that I didn’t know or feel happiness before, it is only now that I realize how much. The reason for this extreme state of euphoria should be obvious, and not for the obvious reasons. Yes I should be happy; I am engaged to a wonderful woman, the love of my life. That reason is justification enough for the state of bliss I am in. But there is more to it than that, looking deeper inside myself; I find that I adopted a laissez-faire approach about being happy. It was not that long ago when I was feeling unhappy, suffering, in pain… Back then I would have given anything to find happiness once again. Of course, we all know the outcome of wishing for that… When ever you want or desire something that badly, you never get it. It’s like we put out this negative energy that is so strong, it sabotages our efforts and the energy that we invest in an attempt to reach the goals we so desire. Back then, I would have given anything to achieve the bliss that I have now found; ironically, I didn’t find it until I gave up wanting it… and I do mean TRULY gave up wanting it. Now looking back in retrospect, I almost feel ungrateful and undeserving of what I have received… this happiness that I have found, and the peace that it has brought me. Why you ask? To answer this, I need to mention something about myself.

I believe in a balance, you need to give to receive, and when you receive you need to give. Giving can be classified under many different types of acts; ultimately the outcome is the same, the person shows and demonstrates gratitude for their life, and the situations that are making it happy. So how does this tie into my point of topic? Over the last couple of weeks I have been feeling apathetic, I feel as though I have shown no signs of gratitude, at least in the way I feel I need to; especially if I am to truly enjoy and experience the wonderful time I am going through. Sometimes I think that life has gotten to hectic to truly enjoy the things that make me happy, but that just seems like a cop out. When I am in pain, it encompasses my whole life, I am aware of it all the time. Now that I am blissful, I seem to not be aware of it nearly as often as I was when I was the polar opposite. Which brings me back to where I started, WHY? Are we, as humans, so callused that we can not feel joy, especially to the same degree at which we can feel pain? Are we so self absorbed that when things start to go right, we immediately expect them to continue on that way, always? I guarantee that as soon as the tables turn, we will once again become very aware of how much pain we are in and humbled by it. We curse our situation like it has always been this way since the beginning of our lives. Yet there is one thing we tend to forget… the good times… once again. I guess my point is this, why can’t we be aware of joy to the degree that we are aware of pain. This isn’t just me, it has happened all throughout history. The story is timeless; country is oppressed, country then comes to power, becomes empire, and then quickly forgot how they got there… you know the rest.

So where does this leave us? Ungrateful, self absorbed, arrogant people? Maybe, but I don’t think all are this way, or that there is no hope. I don’t believe that all humans are this way. I think some of this behavior stems from age and culture. We never take the time to appreciate what we have. I do believe that the older we get, the more we tend to appreciate the past, and appreciate what we had. This in turn makes us appreciate the things we still have. So what can I do, how can I implement a change in this behavior. Just to recap, I have spoken to a lot of individuals who feel the same way I do; they don’t appreciate the good times they have, just lament the ones they had, or curse their life during it’s time of trial. For whatever reason they feel the need to do this, and for whatever means they go about expressing it, is irrelevant. There is one things that connects us all, and that is the desire to recognize the good, that way we should not feel so self absorbed or guilty when the bad comes.

The change has to come from me, switching my mental attitude. Appreciating the good times does not require much, it basically is achieved by not taking those times for granted, especially while we are experiencing them. What does that mean for me, well for one, I need to take more time to stop and smell the metaphoric roses… which would basically be my relationship with Anna. Time is passing by quickly; already we are less than 3 months away from being married. So often we only pay attention to the finish line, or the prize if you will. I seem to only be looking forward to that instance, not appreciating this time that we are in. Wanting the days to pass by quickly may not be the best thing. Time passes by fast enough, not appreciating the scenery before the finish line is tragic. There is magic to be found in all shapes and walks of life, and the engagement period is just as magical as the wedding itself. I need to appreciate Anna more, appreciate the person she is now, and the person she is becoming. Right now she is my fiancée; she only gets to be that once, and for a very short period of time. She will be my wife soon, and that lasts a lot longer… hopefully. :-) Although this might sound good on paper, implementing this plan is a whole other challenge. It is going to take some conscious effort on my part, at least for a little while. Hopefully it will eventually become routine enough where it is like an involuntary reaction. I think we all could stand to appreciate the good things more, smile every once in while, realize that life can be, and is good. I am happy, dog gone it, smile, and act the part. Life doesn’t have to be tragic or depressing to be interesting. Sometimes stories with cheesy happy endings and beginnings are also entertaining.

2 comments:

BanAnna said...

Did I just get referred to as a metaphoric rose? I like it!

Mezo said...

UH.... Yes, yes you did...