We returned from a mini-vacation at Great Wold Lodge yesterday afternoon, just the three of us, my husband, daughter and I. It was a lovely getaway and nice to spend some time together, and all together exhausting too! I found myself with a bit of a short fuse yesterday because I was tired from not sleeping well and the two days at the water park. My attitude quickly changed once I caught up on what’s been happening with the enormous and devastating wild fire in Fort McMurray, AB. It’s truly amazing how perspective can quickly change our attitude from complaint to gratitude.
Gratitude Tip: There will be times when things aren’t going right and you’ve had a tough day, and these are times when perspective becomes really important. There will always be someone else who is in a more difficult situation and sometimes when we do think about others and their plight, our own burdens become easier to handle. It’s not about comparison, which can be very dangerous, it’s more about a feeling of empathy as opposed to feeling sorry for ourselves. And many times, it’s easier to find gratitude in our lives when we think about others and their challenges.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, I don’t usually spend a lot of time watching or listening to the news. It’s mostly negative and I prefer to feed my mind with positive and uplifting songs, words and books. The natural disaster in Fort McMurray feels very close to home, even though we are thousands of miles away. And what I have been seeing the news, beyond the terrifying footage of the fires themselves, is a lot of positive support for their community and an outpouring of support from across Canada and around the globe. People are gathering donations, money is being pledged, fire crews are being dispatched and emergency food and shelter are on their way. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning. Much of the town has been destroyed by fire so there will be a long road to economic recovery as well. For the time being, if you’d like to support the Canadian Red Cross, please text RedCross to 30333 to donate $5 on your phone bill. The Canadian government is currently matching donations.
A quote from the Tao te Ching caught my attention this morning, ‘Serve the needs of others, and all your own needs will be fulfilled.’ My word of the year for 2016 is Service and it’s something I continue to work on every day. Perspective helps us to remember to be of service to others. When we are doing something for others, our own challenges and problems tend to disappear, at least for a little while. The cure for frustration, sadness or anger is often taking action to help others. Look for ways that you can be of service to others today and watch how your own day unfolds differently.