This week we’re asking you to carve out a tiny sliver of your time to reflect. Reflection is a wonderful thing. Regardless of whether you are examining the “good” or the “bad”, processing is something we humans need to do. And I don’t know about you, but this human needs to do more of it. After a season of serious highs (post-vaxx hugs!!) and major lows (news cycle on loop) — this reflection is most welcome. Each passing day reaffirms this more than the previous.
During this reflection, I’ve realized something. I have so much to be thankful for, yet sometimes the panels of my life story flip by so quickly that I don’t take the time to sit with it and take stock of what I could be grateful for. It’s so easy to remember the negative.
Yesterday, a couple flipped out at me because our dogs got into a tussle. They both started screaming at me while I stood there completely frozen and shocked by the reaction. My first thought when I got home was, “people are HORRIBLE” and I was very close to writing off the day, even the city, entirely. But using my handy tool of reflection I thought back to earlier that morning when I had a conversation with another parent at the park and we were both talking about that satisfied “aah” sound toddlers make after they take a sip — adorable! Or the woman in the elevator, who in reference to my dog, said aloud to her friend “this doggo is just the BEST”. Those fleeting moments really tipped the scales towards the “people are LOVELY” camp. I just had to remember them.
It’s easy to convince ourselves that negativity is fashionable or culturally appropriate. We’re fed images of war and conflict; advertising often teaches us that we can never be good enough. These narratives don’t need to define our self-image. In fact, they often have little to do with who we are and how we experience the world on a day-to-day basis. The choice belongs to us. Making gratitude lists can bring us back to a place of natural reflection, where we focus on what’s good rather than what’s bad.