Here we are… months after the world became an unknown place, and many of our creature comforts, things we took for granted, turned into vast luxuries. I dream longingly of a haircut or sitting in a café with a dear friend over a steaming cup of bad coffee…or, hardest of all, receiving a hug at an AA meeting. I am getting accustomed to my new masked reality, the shouting at friends from a distance when I have the rare pleasure of seeing them. And, somehow, it is all ok. Really ok. And that is because I watch my mouth.
Let me explain a bit…I had a father who was an eternal optimist. He would return home from the most mundane of errands with a smile on his face, saying what fun he had had meeting someone new, or finding a new treasure. There was nothing outwardly tedious or painful or labored about the way that man walked through the world. And, I realize, that he was very careful to watch his mouth…he spoke of the good in the people he met, and kept an upbeat attitude. Now, he was a passionate man of intense opinions, yet he loved others and could find the good in everyone!
So, recently I find I am content, amid being laid off due to the pandemic, and with an imminent move across the country that I am doing single handedly. I believe this is primarily due to how I handle my tongue. Rather than opening my mouth to complain about my situation, any little thing, or the problems I perceive… I zip it. Seriously, zip it. And choose other words. Words that focus on what I am grateful for. Things like having friends to miss! Or enough money to relocate in the first place… you get the idea. Victor Frankel had it right…we cannot change the world around us, all we can change is our attitude toward it. And how we act. Talking is acting.
So, as we all get a bit crunchy about missing out on small luxuries, I laugh. Those dealing with immense losses like unemployment, children or older family members in crisis, or, God forbid, sickness or death of a loved one, have to employ ninja level control over their impulse to complain and spread the horror they are experiencing. There is a place for catharsis, but it can turn into morbid reflection on a dime.
We have power over what we bring to this plague... hope or a spirit of defeatedness. So, maybe try watching your mouth, and I can assure you, from personal experience, that you will go to bed at night a little lighter and happier than if you had let it rip. As I do this more and more, miracles keep on happening in my life, or maybe I am simply awake to them now. ...the sun rises every day and babies are born, and I will get a hug again. I just know it!!
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