When we are at our lowest, we often suffer in the confines of our own small world. We close our eyes and ears to the suffering around us and shroud ourselves in our own misery. Ours is the worst pain ever experienced and no one else knows, or has overcome such hardship.
At least, that’s what we tell ourselves.
Our perspective, however, is skewed.
Our struggle is not new. Our loss is not new. Our pain is not new. Most importantly, however, our suffering is not monolithic, and the so-called hell where we believe we find ourselves is likely a respite for those who suffer far worse.
For instance, when we complain about nagging back pain, others live with paralysis. Foreclosure forces some to return begrudgingly to apartment living when others humbly shuttle from homeless shelter to bridge underpass.
Through our own isolation, selfishness and lack of empathy, we fail to understand, or least of all, appreciate the gift of gratitude.
Perspective is everything, and gratitude offers us that. Of all recovery, redemption and resilience, gratitude is the starting point and the basis. Gratitude allows us to see our struggle as a sojourn and a source of growth rather than a death sentence and the end of our world.
When we embrace gratitude, we are able to make the needed changes to move us forward to heights never before realized. Suddenly, we refuse to wallow in self-doubt or blame and see the problems we face as challenges to demonstrate our untested greatness.
Our creativity is rediscovered and then employed. We remove the limits and barriers we previously placed on our experience. We now innately look outside of ourselves not necessarily for answers, but for connections and synergies.
Ultimately, our world becomes different, bigger, and so does the depth of our existence.
Eric Christopher Webb © 2016
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The WordsByWebb blog distributes a weekly quotation and reflection every Tuesday from National Black Authors Tour bestselling author and multi-talented writer Eric Christopher Webb (E.WEBB?!) to inspire, motivate and encourage personal development of its readers. The blog also regularly shares news, updates, new poetry and excerpts of the writer’s latest work. Webb, a spoken word artist, former Washington News Correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and nationally-syndicated Soul Searching columnist, has also been featured in movies, music videos, commercials and literary documentaries on HBO, BET Weekend’s Evening of Spoken Word, BET’s Rap City, Video Jukebox, The Party Machine, The Learning Channel, Voice of America and XM Radio. He is the author of five books, including "The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events," a 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for First Fiction and the National Black Authors Tour bestseller, "Love Letters, Death Threats & Suicide Notes." He has also contributed to numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
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