We wait for the rains to cease, the clouds to part, and the sun to shine before saying life is good. There are a thousand things I could worry about in this one moment. There are fears and insecurities and unaccomplished dreams, and procrastinated goals, AND a pandemic to deal with. We’re probably not doing as well as we could have or we should have in school, or we were unable to have a traditional holiday season with our huge family, or we did not keep in touch with as many people we thought we would, or maybe we didn’t learn a new skill like everyone else in the lockdown, or we weren’t as productive, we procrastinated way more than we should have, or maybe we just focused on getting through one day at a time. This is just a reminder to tell you, you’re not alone, I promise. And more importantly, go soft on yourself, you haven’t done anything wrong. Life is a bumpy road, never meant to be smooth and that’s the beauty of it, and this year this roller coaster is a tad bit crazier.
But no matter how crazy the ride gets, is life really as bad as we think it is? Are there really just bad things around? Is there really nothing to be happy about or grateful for? If you think about it, the answer cannot be no. A lot of times we are so surrounded by the problems in life that we forget to express gratitude towards what is right. There are a billion ways your life could be worse right now, but it is not and that is enough reason to acknowledge and appreciate the little parts which are happy, which are fulfilling. I’m not saying that it will suddenly make everything which is not right right, but it will give you hope that there’s a morning after every dark night, that there are things worth striving for, that all the hard work you’re putting in is not in vain. Gratitude gives you strength to keep fighting for things in life, it gives you the positivity to see the light, and above all, it makes you happy.
All our lives we create this idea in our minds to attain this unachievable happiness, to strife towards the idea of a bigger goal in life, to work for it tirelessly, and to give it our everything. In this journey of a better future, oftentimes, we forget that it is only the present the we can truly live. You go on to realize that at the end, all that matters are the little moments of happiness that you never planned for. Life is hard, but life is happy, and more importantly, life is hopeful. For those of us who escape the uncertainty of the future as a cover for not acknowledging that we have a good life, it’s the horrors of the past. Sometimes, the past demands to be felt. Sometimes, it rolls down in parallel rivers across our cheeks. Who am I to deny the vessel which made me a warrior?
This year is not about great progress, or huge escalations, or career promotions, or a raise, or an exotic vacation, or family gatherings. This year is solely and purely about survival. This year is about being grateful that you’re living to see another day. It is about being thankful for being with the people you love the most under one roof and spending time together, it is about showing solidarity to the souls who left us, it is about extending support and spreading happiness to those who have suffered, and it is about telling yourself that you’ll live through it.
So this new year, let’s begin a new tradition, let’s start appreciating the good in life. Because even with all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, life is still a beautiful place. Every inch of love that you give will come back to you, one way or another. So just don’t stop giving. The universe is keeping track. The world may have disappointed you, the universe will not. All the positivity you radiate, will come back to you. Instead of everything that went wrong, think about everything that didn’t. Think about how you’ve survived a literal pandemic, think about how you’ve managed a brand-new system of education, think about how you’ve managed to be sane in these hard times, and think about every little fight you’ve won against this year. You’re a warrior already and you know you’re capable of handling so much more.
Show gratitude to everything and everyone who has contributed to making life a better place, a happier place. Gratitude will turn what we have into enough, and more. It will turn denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...it will make sense of our past, bring peace for today, and create a vision for tomorrow. So, this new year, be grateful to life.