“Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens
As we draw to the close of another year, it’s the time we all reflect on the year that has gone and then plan for the new year ahead. Where we look at our highs, our lows, and our in-betweens. Where are set our objectives, our goals, our dreams for the 12 months ahead. Or do we? Am I generalising? Is it just me?
Welcome to another observation from under the tree of life or, as I like to call in, my view from the ground.
So, if you are starting to reflect on the last 12 months, what do you so? How many self congratulatory pats on the back do you afford yourself? How many expressions of gratitude do you verbalise? How many times do you raise you glass to those around you with an almighty ‘bless you’ to those who have been with you to stand along side you during your year? Or, do your reflections actually contain a list of ‘I wish’ moments? I wish I’d done this, I wish I’d tried that, I wish this had happened, I wish that hadn’t happen. And, so the list goes. Or, is that just me? Or, should I say, was that just me?
A few years ago, it certainly was me. ‘I wish’ was a constant feature of my look back on the previous year. Never satisfied, never appreciating, never realising what a good life I had.
And then, this year came along. As Queen Elizabeth II would call it, my ‘annus horribilis’. A year when I feel I have real reason to be angry. A year when I could be accused of when the ‘poor me’ person from the Celestine Prophecy.
So, I am going to say ‘I wish’, and I think I can.
I wish ……….. to express my gratitude for what I HAVE. I wish to exclaim my thanks to everyone and for everything that I have in my life.
It’s strange. The changes that this year has brought have been truly life changing. If I’d know 12 months ago what this year would look like, there’s a lot I would have done to change it. But I didn’t and therefore I can’t and therefore, I must move on.
Does this resonate?
This is why I love the words of Charles Dickens. That we should reflect upon present blessings, and not on past misfortunes.
The news is full of the bad in the world. Continued fighting in Syria; the growing challenge of poverty and homelessness whilst the few fill their bank accounts with money that could be distributed to the many; the increasing problem of mental health; terrorist attacks; and so on.
But, on an individual level at the end of each year, we reflect ‘I wish’. It’s human nature of course. I promise – as I type these words there’s a lot of things I wish were different. But, to use my favourite expression, it is what it is.
So, I choose to reflect upon my blessing. For being alive; having a roof over my head; for food, clean water – this list is long. I reflect on my blessing of my awesome son and daughter, for the wonderful family I have around me, and for my amazing friends.
I have found, once my mind focussed on my blessings, the misfortunes of the year take their place where they should be, behind me. My focus must remain on the here and now, and then the future.
We all have our struggles – some out of our control, some, perhaps, self imposed. But, how we deal with those struggles is – in the main – our choice. I choose to focus on my blessings and therefore launch into the next year focussed on counting those blessings.
To those who are here to share and enjoy my blessings, thank you for lending me your hand at the time of need. I hope everyone has someone.
The misfortunes? Perhaps a book – one day. The View From The Ground epic still needs to be finished. Unforeseen circumstances have meant some changes and a potential new title – Flying Without Wings.
So, to close. To everyone who has been with me through this year’s blogs, bless you. Goodbye. Until the next time, of course.