Appreciating The Contrast – Day 14

Focus is possible through contrast

Today’s appreciation has to do with the law of attraction. The law of attraction works, whether or not we focus on what we want or we focus on what we don’t want: we get what we focus on. And we get what we focus on, whether we’re consciously creating it or just living life, reacting to events, people and circumstances. When I talk about focus, I’m not referring just to your thoughts, but also your feelings as we’re really talking about energy. So when you focus on being well, for example, but worry inside because you’re sneezing and fear you’re catching a cold or getting the flu, you’re really focusing on what you don’t want. Guess what happens? You likely will get that cold and end up in bed with the flu!

Contrast doesn’t have to be “bad,” but often we focus on what is unwanted because it doesn’t feel good. Unwanted contrast truly serves as a tool to clarify and focus on what one really wants. When you’re sick in bed with the flu, you really, really want to get better. Those desires are great, but if you keep reminding yourself of how sick you feel and tell others about how awful you’re feeling, you’re not aligning yourself to becoming better.

So as crazy as it sounds, you get what you want when you learn to focus and appreciate the contrast (the good and the bad). You learn to let go of “what is” and appreciate it because you know that something so much better is on its way.

So today, I’m appreciating the contrast. Contrast such as:

how sickness reminds us to take better care of our bodies, or can serve as a reminder to self to S-L-O-W down and relax

the confession from a child that s/he broke a favorite family heirloom as an appreciation of telling the truth (and our great relationship with the child who felt comfortable confessing)

rain on a picnic outing for the value it brings to making things grow (and appreciation for the shelter at the park where we can still have our picnic)

the loss of a job to help us focus on pursuing a better job or our own business

a family crisis for the appreciation it brings in bringing people together and strengthening ties

an earthquake for the appreciation of new buildings designed to withstand earthquakes, the emergency-preparedness of the community, the people who come together in times of tragedy, the emergency workers and the opportunities to re-build in new ways.

Tragedies serve to remind us to appreciate what’s important: people, our pets, the joy of life and being present.

In times of appreciating great unwanted contrast, others may feel that we are not truly caring. But appreciating unwanted contrast is truly caring: it’s caring about how we feel enough to not re-tell the unwanted contrast story that digs a hole of pity and sorrow so deep that we become depressed! It’s caring in a way that helps us find peace with where we are right now.  In doing so, we are offering ourselves and others a focused energy of appreciation, peace and love in being OK with “what is,” as we anticipate better times ahead.

Kind and Caring People

Yesterday I had several examples of people being kind and caring in which to appreciate. The first was related to one of my daughters, who was in New Jersey with one of her college roommates for the weekend. She joined me in Manhattan for the Iowa Hawkeyes game watch (and while we had a great time, our beloved Hawkeyes lost!), and then she was to take a bus back to NJ to join her friend. While I accompanied her to the Port Authority and saw her off on what we thought was the right bus, it turns out that it was not. Added to that was the fact that her cell phone battery had died, so she had no cell phone.

Before I left the Port Authority (and not yet knowing that my daughter was on the wrong bus),  I stopped to buy a juice from a store there for my ride home. A woman with a young child was ahead of me, along with a customer who was buying, too.  The woman with her child was told by the cashier that she was 50 cents short, so she gave the cashier a debit card, which was declined.  The customer next to her reached in her pocket and paid the 50 cents.  Later, the woman with the child found a dollar and tried paying the other woman back and they “discussed” whether or not she would take it. I smiled as I watched this exchange of gratitude, happy for the kind, caring woman who helped her out.

A little later, as I’m coming off of the subway, I received a call from a number I didn’t know: it’s my daughter, using  someone else’s phone on the bus that was taking her way out of her way into New Jersey to places I’d never heard of!  She used this man’s phone several times to call both her friend in NJ and me.  In the end, she was able to get off the bus and wait at a restaurant (where there were more kind people who offered her things and didn’t require her to buy anything) until her friend picked her up. In fact, she said she got to watch some of the Ohio State-Penn State game! After she was safely in the car with her friend, my daughter told me that the man and his wife offered to drive her to her friend’s house, too, if needed.

While one might look at that last offer with a word of “caution” about not accepting rides from strangers, I think it’s evidence of the kind, caring people who were part of our day yesterday. We’ll never know for sure, but I am very grateful for that man letting her use his phone and helping her figure out where she had gotten “lost.”  This was the second example of kind, caring people who offered their assistance to complete strangers yesterday.

And while I’m still in shock over my Iowa Hawkeyes’ loss from yesterday, I’m  grateful I had the opportunity to share it with one of my daughters.