A Grateful Heart.

On this day, the first of a long holiday weekend designated for giving thanks, I find myself spending time at my easel thinking, painting and praying. My thoughts are all over the place, and prompting emotions that range from a gentle low sigh to fleeting angry criticisms.

I am exhausted, anxious, and drained and wish I could just stay home every day and pretend that there is nothing wrong in the world. Denial has a great appeal. I am also hopeful, encouraged and unwaveringly optimistic that these challenges will pass and leave us feeling relieved and ready to renew our best lives. I also realize I am impatient.

The last nine months have been hard for everyone, all around the world. The pandemic is sickening and killing rampantly. Jobs and livelihoods are broadly effected. The economy is uncertain and the people are divided by politics. Families are threatened with hunger and displacement and when people are frightened and feel threatened, fear can often manifest in redirected anger. We want to blame someone, anyone, and declare an end to all of this.

Now is actually the hardest time since this began. We are tired and we want life to return to normal. It is getting colder and darker and the holidays leave us feeling desperate to be with friends and family. Instead if giving up and lashing out in anger, let us close our eyes and take a moment to find positive things to focus on. It’s hard but we need to be determined to count our blessings, not just today but again tomorrow, and again the next day.

I am grateful. I am grateful for enough. Enough food, heat and shelter. Enough work, structure and networking. I am grateful for the extra blessings of entertainment, hobbies, and toys to help pass the time and distract me from hardship.

Most of all I am grateful for love. Love between friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Love between spouses and partners, parents and children, siblings and extended family. Love between strangers who understand how vital repairing this God directed connection truly is, for all of us.

This is a hard time but it can be easier when we stop the escalation of negativity and count our blessings instead. Determnation to focus on the good things in your life is how you can regain control over your reaction to what you cannot control.

Seek peace. Share love. Build a grateful heart.

This painting is a 10″ x 20″ oil on canvas called, A Grateful Heart.