Count your blessings. The disappearance and absence of evil things is not one of them. The appearance and presence of good things is.
DB - The Vagabond
Step right up.
There's an old joke about the man who wore too tight shoes all day because it felt so good when he took them off. It seems like such a blessing when we get out of some difficulty, whether it's the relief of pain and sickness, the solving of some thorny problem, the finally finding of some lost object or the erasing of some circumstance we dread or fear. We consider it a boon because our reaction is a positive one, an improvement in life.
But the job isn't done until we examine the reasons why we got into hot water in the first place. It may not be our fault that bad things occurred. There is something we didn't notice, were unprepared for or caused by someone else's carelessness or wrong doing. And so we learn to try to avoid certain things in the future.
But there is another effort to be done and that is to shun midnight thinking, that cusp between the ending of one thing and the beginning of another that puts us in a vulnerable place where suggestions come from some nameless source, the place that causes us to imagine monsters, dragons of despair and intruders into our peace and expectation of good. Our thoughts should be guarded and carefully chosen in order to drive that darkness from the door.
One of the great blessings we have as humans is that we can choose what to think. Some wise person said "Think before you think." I've read that throughout history wise people have invited us to choose good over evil and that choosing is not just picking the right object to buy, the right thing to eat or the right book to read. The vast and vigorous commercial advertising business is busy convincing us that happiness is to be found in one product or another. They are so good at convincing us that we tend to believe them and go out and buy it. But happiness doesn't come in a box, bottle or tube.
"Count your blessings" is one of those bromides people often tell others who are unhappy about something. But what does it really mean? A blessing is not something that sits in the corner smiling at us when we are depressed about something. It is an active energy that tells us we have more control over our circumstances than we have been giving ourselves. It is the good news that we can allow ourselves and are allowed to be happy. It is the prompter that cues us to take more charge of what we think. It is the challenge to form and keep a good opinion of ourselves. It is the mirror that shows us we are bigger, stronger and more important than our problems.
The positive thinking philosophy of Dale Carnegie and others is a great step in the right direction. Underlying that philosophy is the fact that thoughts have power for good or ill. That's why it's important to choose what we think. We can choose the good. We can choose to thumb our noses at fear and hate. We can choose to take a dashing surf board ride over tragedy. In short, we can choose to bless ourselves and others and to enjoy the blessings that come from such thinking.
Everyone deserves a blessing. Even you. Especially you.
DB - The Vagabond
May love be the reason.