Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Gratitude: A State of Being

On Gratitude

I just a big lesson on the difference between being grateful and being possessive.

As I walked out of my home for what could have been the last time, I came to a definitive conclusion; I am not my stuff.

Last week, the folks of Coastal Georgia and Haiti and Florida and Haiti, South and North Carolina, Haiti and did I mention Haiti, experienced the devastation of Hurricane Matthew. While the storm has long gone, we are all still dealing with the aftermath (especially the folks in Haiti.)

Streets that were here are now blocked by the huge oaks that once lined them. Power lines and sewage have tainted the drinking water and then there is the mold.

So where is the gratitude in all of this?

Being grateful should not be reduced to clich├ęs and comparisons. If I had a dollar for every, “It could be worse,” or “At least you have your power back,” I could really make a difference in Haiti.

Gratitude is a foresight and possessiveness is hindsight. When we look back on what we had or what we think we might have had, we miss the opportunity to see what can be.

Gratitude is a window of hope. It is not an act, but a state of being. Let me be more direct; either you are grateful, or you are not. Gratitude is not one and done. You are not truly grateful one moment but not the next. Being grateful is a lot like being nice. When you are a nice person, others feel it.

Ask your own self the following:

Do you see possibility for goodness or fear the worse?

Do you live in fear of those who are different or do you seek to (re)connect?

Do you work on the foundation of the future or are you obsessed with the next big or flashy thing?

Can you be happy in the moment or do you your emotions rush to the part where you know the good time must end?

Grateful is a state of being. We have become possessive creatures who can only be happy when our stuff outshines someone else’s.

Know this; we are all connected and we are connected to everything.

The tree that fell yearns for its roots and the fatherless child who was killed by that tree yearns for the root of all beings.

Be Grateful.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

Monday, October 3, 2016

What Do You Attract?

Attracting Love

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to experience some of what my home town offers. 
Every place has its own flavor, color and lesser-known joys, but I live in a truly magical place.

The event was the Picnic in the Park with the Savannah Philharmonic. It was held in Forsythe Park and it was packed. My daughter and I arrived an hour early, enabling us to get a prime spot for both our blanket and our car.

More family joined us later, but before they did, we’d made friends with everyone around us. This is no exaggeration. Folks came over to my lounge chair (which had some-how turned into a very low recliner) to introduce themselves, talk about local restaurants, and even to complement our colorful blanket.

As the crowd grew larger, space was very limited and we became the spot where folks in search of a drink, or friend, meandered through the tight spaces, winding up at our blanket.

They’d beg our pardon, give many obliges, “Hey Baby’s, and other Southern greetings.

Our family (in the form of the young folks I call my nieces and nephews) arrived and the diversity of our blanket grew richer. Our surrounding "new" friends wanted to know how we’d all met, where they were from and what we kept laughing about.

We listened to great music and chatted about life and the joys thereof when I noticed a little boy who kept moving his chair closer and closer to mine until the two chairs were touching. The little boy told me his name and asked for mine.  

His parents noticed and told him to remember what they had said about personal space. 

I assured them that he was safe with us and that we would watch out for him. They said he was a handful and I simply nodded and told them that I understood. They relaxed back in their spaces and my new little friend relaxed in ours.

Then something beautiful happened. This little boy, who had been a stranger turned to me said, “You know what, I love you.” I smiled and said “Honey, I love you too.”

He kept smiling and then he said, “And I have a secret to tell you.” Looking deeply in my eyes he said, “I really love everyone and everything, but right now, I love you more than anything else.”

I could not contain my tears. In that moment, I felt that my heart had been healed.

As if he fully and completely understood the joy from my tears, the young boy sat beaming with pride and he hugged me tightly.

When it was time for us to leave, we were told by him and everyone around us that we were a joy to be with.

We all have the power to change the energy in a space. We have the ability to radiate love and joy wherever we are. We always have a choice. It’s not always easy, but it is possible.

How can you shine more brightly?

How can you be the light in a room?

Who needs your love today?

Be you, be well, be the love.

Bertice Berry, PhD.