How are you, my munchkin?
I wanted to talk to you about something. Hence, I thought it’s about time I write a letter to my daughter again.
I woke up feeling slightly heavy hearted today. I don’t know, it could be something I read. Or, it could have been a bad dream. I wasn’t sure. But something was definitely bothering me. You know that nagging feeling that something is not right. Then you take a quick stock of things and everything important seems to be alright. Still, that feeling refuses to go away. Well, that was how my day began and I kept thinking about what is it that’s gnawing at me.
A few hours passed as I stayed restless when I realised maybe I should make a gratitude list. A five-finger gratitude list to be more precise, to help deal with how anxious I was feeling. As I was making the list M, I understood what it was that was bothering me. I guess the clogs in the brain needed to be in the grateful frame of mind to be unclogged. So, yes, what was bothering me?
Well, it was the fear that at any moment the status quo that I had in life could be toppled. Do you know what that made me realise? Two things really.
The first was that I need to be grateful for what I have. Well, more often really. I need to truly stop focusing on all the non-issues, on people who don’t matter and on problems which aren’t really problems. I need to make the most of what I have and bask in the love that I’m fortunate to have.
So, M, there will be times in life, actually most times in life, you’ll probably forget to be grateful. A bad colleague at work, a verbal altercation with someone or even feeling stuck in the same place for ages, all of these and more could frustrate you. When these happen as humans, we have this tendency to focus on the negatives. It’s like gravity pulling us away from making the most of the positives. It happens and it is bound to happen to you too. But in those moments try to think of all that you have and draw your strength from that.
The second lesson that I was reminded of today was that even though you might focus on the positives, you might not immediately feel good. The anxiety might not vanish immediately. There’s no switch. It takes time. These days there is this trend to not let anything negative affect you. There is so much talk of positive outlook that we tend to forget that sometimes it’s okay to feel bad, to feel low. It’s okay to feel anxious sometimes. It’s okay to feel upset. It’s okay to be vulnerable. Of course, you must make the effort to come out of it but don’t deny yourself the emotions that you are feeling in the first place. Don’t feel guilty for it is what I’m trying to say. Sometimes, you need to go through these to take them all out of your system. Try not to stay there but never feel ashamed of negative emotions. I tend to forget this often. So, this letter is a kind of reminder to me as well.
Life is unpredictable so even though I have tried to focus on the positives, I know how transient they can be. So, I’m still kind of uneasy as I reach the end of the letter, but it’s okay. I’m still going to focus on the positives to go through this day. And when you are older and have a similar kind of day, I want you to think of this letter. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll help you in some way.