Sometimes when I think about all that I’m grateful for, especially in times like these when I’m watching my fellow Texans in the throws of watching their homes being destroyed by flooding, friends and family going missing, or even worse, I tend to switch from gratitude to survivor’s guilt. As if somehow I should be suffering too and that will make the suffering of others less so. Unfortunately and fortunately, we can’t take pain away from other people. We just create new pain of our own. This is a good thing because if I could be successful at taking pain from people and be able to lay it upon my own shoulders, I would be buried under the weight of the world. Dead. There were many years where it certainly felt that way. I’ve since learned how each of us are responsible for our own feelings and I’m not everyone’s savior.
Today, I’m reminded of the importance of pure gratitude. And how that does not take away from or give pain to others. However, there’s a difference in an exclamation of gratitude and bragging. I try for the former.
I’m humbly grateful today that I only had to deal with a wet dog who wanted longer walks and more play time this weekend. I’m immensely grateful my power didn’t go out for one second, that I didn’t have to drive in flooded areas and get pulled under, that my apartment stayed completely dry and out of harm’s way. I have fresh drinking water, food, more food stores on my own body than necessary, a job, a car, health insurance, friends, family, and clean air to breathe into a body that is perfectly working for me all day and all night. These are incredible blessings and it’s an honor to be alive and well when so many are not.
[Insert comment about privilege. Yes, I acknowledge it completely.]
I kept thinking what can I do? I came up with expressing gratitude, sending money and simple prayers.
Sometimes prayers are without words. Sometimes they just say, “Please help.”
I don’t believe it matters who you’re praying to. If you don’t believe there’s anyone or anything to actually pray to that’s okay. Just feel the gratitude and love for our neighbors. And send some money or supplies if you can.
I wish I could wave a magic wand and send ol’ Harvey back to where he came from but instead I will be praying without ceasing, for not only immediate relief but for long term healing and rebuilding of our Texas communities.
It’s amazing to see how united we can be as a state when we’ve been so divided not even a week ago. It goes to show that we’re all human, all the same, and we are capable of simply loving each other.
I love you all.
**Donate to Red Cross here: https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation **