A very quick reflection but one that really stopped me in my tracks this week…
Last week we enjoyed a fantastic cruise around the Adriatic and got the chance to visit some amazing places. OK, there were times when it was blisteringly hot (even the locals were struggling!) but with gallons of water in hand we bravely soldiered on. One of our ports of call was Split in Croatia, a lovely town with a rich history. One of its impressive landmarks is Diocletian’s Palace which has a particularly tall bell-tower. Our eldest was only too keen to climb to the top for the photo opportunities whilst I on the other hand decided to rest the old legs and take refuge and recline against a wall in the shade. As I did, something caught my eye scrawled on the wall and it wasn’t the usual sort of graffiti you can come to expect. In black marker pen, scratched out in English were the words,
‘Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have’
Wow, I thought, is this some kind of sign or signal? It was certainly unexpected and thought provoking.
How often do we feel that our lives are unfulfilled? How often do we feel that we could have, or should have done more with our lives and achieved more? Do we find ourselves looking enviously at others and wishing we could have a better life?
Thoughts like these, if we are not careful, are not good for our self-esteem, sense of worth or our confidence.
It’s a useful reminder to us that we should take more time to be positive and celebrate the things we do have, whether it’s in our relationships, work lives or whatever or wherever it may be. Finding time to feel grateful can be a very effective way of dealing with negative and self-defeating thoughts.
The Buddhist faith has a rich tradition of cultivating gratitude through practising meditation and mindfulness. Personally, I don’t think it matters whether you have a faith or not, there is a lot that can be appreciated from this.
So here’s to focusing on what we have and being that little bit more grateful.