It was the beginning of winter in Westport, Washington, and I was sitting (along with a date) in my car on the beach. The wind was literally making the car sway back and forth as the rain pounded the roof. I was just about to start the car and go find a warm pub when suddenly she says, “Stop, lets watch the sunset!” I looked out the window as if to say, “Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” Then I wondered if maybe she’d snuck an edible, but then she pointed through the front windshield, and sure enough…there was a sunset!
As the windshield wipers intermittently moved you could see just a faint orange light through the clouds and rain. It was like God was shining a flashlight behind a dark blanket, and she said, “Isn’t that beautiful? It’s just incredible. How lucky are we to get to be here at this exact moment?” I hadn’t even noticed it! I was too busy focusing on the rain and how it was about to get dark, but her reaction was so positive and full of “light” that I just paused for a moment. And then, I quickly alternated between looking at her face…and the sunset. I was torn as to which one was shining brighter as she began counting down until it would disappear. “Don’t move yet, let’s watch it until it’s gone. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,” she said with such joy that my heart and soul could feel it. It was like watching someone open a gift that they dearly loved.
Whether it was Jesus or Buddha, they were clear that life is full of challenges. You and I live in a world that has become increasingly stressful. And everyone has their theory on why there is now so much anxiety and depression on our planet, but the answer (for some) is found in comparing how my date and I handled that day at the beach.
- One of us was focused on finding the sun
- One of us was focused on the clouds
- One of us was living in the moment
- One of us was thinking about where to go next
- One of us was living with gratitude
- One of us was living with a bad attitude
If you are struggling to find peace and joy in your life I get it! It has a been a lifelong struggle for me as well. I can blame it on my genetics, my diet, or even the low T, but often times it is simply the way I choose to view the world around me. Let me challenge you and I to begin renewing our minds. We need to begin focusing on having an attitude of gratitude, and looking for at least a little light every time darkness falls. Starting today lets list at least 3 things we are thankful for each morning, and at night before we fall asleep. Just do it for the next 21 days and I’ll be praying for both of us!
I know many reading this are in pain, and my words seem weak in comparison to your strong emotions. Again, I get it. I know what it is like to be gripped by a sadness so deep you feel as though you can’t breathe. I know the feeling of anxiety rushing through my body like a tidal wave of heat and fear. I share in your pain, but know that in time there will be a light of hope, peace, and joy. Better days are coming.
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