There are two things saving my life right now, in the midst of this summer when a part of me just wants to be on vacation, when I am figuring plans for next year, when things haven't slowed down just because it's summer.
Gratitude. Kind and tender words.
Gratitude has become a practice for me. I learned this from Ike Lasater, my NVC mediation teacher. It happens usually when I go for my walk, sometimes I sit on a swing in our garden, but sometimes I simply catch a moment on the metro. I recall all the things I am grateful for, that somebody did for me said to me or that I did for myself or for others. Sometimes these are the things that happen without anybody's influence, like the blue sky. I am always amazed how naturally a wave of joy sweeps over me and I suddenly see all the good things in the day. There is no forced biting the tongue of complaints. Things may still be turbulent and hectic, but I find the pieces that do makes sense. These are the kind words to myself.
And then there are the tender words that I hear from others. They come unexpected, sometimes it's an e-mail, sometimes a call, sometimes in person. "I am happy to hear your voice", "I understand", "What you said or did the other day was helpful". "I enjoyed your cooking". Sometimes it's just as simple as that. I find myself instinctively waiting for them, I think we all do. It gives hope that what we try to do or be matters. And even if I spend the whole day in front the computer when I hear these things I know I am not alone.
In writing this post I am joining the invitation of Sarah Bessey who was inspired by the question from Barbara Brown Taylor’s book “Leaving Church". I haven't read the book yet, but that one question makes it worth it to be on my reading list.