Gratitude does not merely help us “celebrate” our day, we create a happier environment through our conscious and unconscious behavior.
Last week, I had spoken to a member of family who had recently lost her spouse. It was her birthday and I was in two minds to call and wish her. I knew that instead of any desire to celebrate, her birthday this time would be a day of contemplation and nostalgia of the deceased spouse. My doubt did not lie in the concern about the societal expectations or norms that is expected of me in such a delicate scenario. Rather, it lay in my concern whether my call on her birthday is “appropriate” from a different perspective. I certainly did not want to risk making her feel disheartened by my call.
My logic is ,whether we may wish to accept the reality of life in sorrowful times, we are faced everyday of our life with the opportunity to experience another day on this planet. And each day, is a reminder that we “celebrate” our existence. We may choose to look at each day as one that we need to pull through, have regrets about, complain about or merely recognize as the reality of life. Nevertheless, we need to respect each day by attributing to it as an opportunity to rejoice that we are alive and healthy. Celebration need not always be associated with obvious displays of obvious frivolous festivity but can also be a simple and dignified living of what the essence of life means to us.
In the case of my relative, as one of the most gutsy, vibrant and capable ladies I know, I realized that I would be depriving of the birthday wishes that she rightly deserves should I not wish her. With two responsible wonderful children and a basic financial stability, despite the tragedy in her life, she is admirably moving ahead with life the best way she can. What logical reason do I have, not to convey my wishes for her blessed future?
Undoubtedly, my relative would probably consider her birthday as a day to reflect on the possibilities and opportunities the future holds for her beautiful children and her. With due respect to the departed soul, her birthday is also a gentle reminder – “You are alive, make the best of life that you have been blessed with”
I called my relative, and I realized that she is not known to be gutsy for nothing. She was happy to hear from me and spoke warmly at length at what she considers lies ahead. She was also looking forward to her parents visit in anticipation.
Each day is a present that is yet to unfold in the morning and before we retire for the night, it is a moment for thanksgiving. A silent gratitude that we are part of the celebration called life.
As part of celebrations, we may observe an event with a ritual, or perform a ceremony, or be a part of a function that extols the boisterousness of accomplishing a stage of life like marriage. But deciding on what we believe holds meaning as the manner we celebration is up to us and us alone.
Just like the impact of affirmations on our psyche, our “celebratory” attitude towards each day is heightened if –
We reaffirm our gratitude through the first thoughts as we rise to the last thoughts before we sleep.
We convey our gratitude through what we write as well, for example, if you keep a journal.
We communicate our appreciation through our words and action too.
Go on, Celebrate your Day….Celebrate your Existence.