This morning I woke up and watched Brother David Stendl Rast on TED talking about gratitude. I had heard him before in an interview on ‘On Being’ with Krista Tipett and a few minutes back I went to some videos and articles a friend sends occassionally on my email and found another TED featuring a documentary on David Stendl Rast.
I have been feeling strangely guilty about the mood I have been in. I am working with a team of counsellors who are working with newly arriving refugees and the stories of war crimes and violence are excruciating, reminding us of the dark side of human kind driven by power and hate. I have in the last 2 years seen more loss, despair and hopelessness than ever before in my life. Amidst all this its been hard to hold on to hope for me. I also seem to have compassion fatigue. The dark side of human nature seems ‘normal’, ‘expected’. But yesterday, as I was doing a training on self-care for humanitarian workers, I realised I needed desperately to snap out of this hopelessness for the sake of the people I work with, the people we work for, and myself.
Besides this hopelessness about human nature is unlike me. I believe in the human potential, I always have. I believe in the capacity of people to grow and change. I believe there is good in this world to the point that people often call me naive. But repeated exposure to traumatic events both natural and man-made have made me question it incessantly in the past years. So this morning, I woke up with wanting to feel gratitude for the things I had. These experiences have been life changing and I am still processing all this and the meaning of it all, in my life, to this world. Nevertheless, today I want to be grateful for the good things in my life.
I am grateful that I have met people who make me believe in the grandness and simplicity of human potential.
I am grateful for the love of so many women in my life, amazing, intelligent, compassionate, selfless, beautiful women who fill my heart everyday with their messages of ‘How are you?’ And ‘I miss you.’ And ‘You’re amazing.’
I am grateful for the few 😉 but wonderful men who are in my life – warm, kind, gentle, sensitive who love me and care for me.
I am grateful for all the children who put their faith in me, share their joy with me and make me feel like a child again.
I am grateful for all the people who have come to me for professional help and as the universe would have it, have taught me more than I could have ever taught them. I am deeply grateful they chose to trust me with their stories of grief, loss, hardship and journeys of growth.
I am grateful for Layla, Gul and Bugs whom I love like I could love no human and who have loved me like only cats and dogs can, with all their wisdom and intuition. And all the random dogs and cats that continue to show me their unconditional love and make me feel all special wherever I go.
I am grateful for nature, the trees, for the light they let through, the heat they hold back, the birds they give home to, their majestic beauty, for the sunsets, deep orange, purple and pink, for the seas, turquoise, blue, grey and green, for the mighty mountains, their strength and grace.
Just thinking about all this makes me feel so much brighter. Try it and do watch/listen to Brother David.