“Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it.  Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealousy, and envy.  Guard your fragile life carefully.  Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.”   -Og Mandino

I am struck by just how fragile and tenuous our life is again this week.  My son, who seems to be having a proclivity toward head injuries fell hard on our stone fireplace with his head.  It was a frightening few hours where he miraculously emerged again, bruised but intact.  It is so easy to slip into the place of taking for granted the strength of our health, the predictable assured-ness of the life we are planning only to be jerked awake by the truth, that at any moment when you least expect it,  the unexpected happens.  Life is not the same.

Yet it is so crazy when you read the paper and see how much time we waste collectively on meanness, cruelty and envy.  I know it is easy to slip into this place where we allow our fears and unresolved pain lead our thinking and worse still, our behaviors.  We so often can let ourselves have the goodness we have created.  Self sabotage can look like accidents of all kinds.

It is always when life is hanging on a thread and you just want to get back to normal when you realize that it was never just normal…. For most of us, normal is everything is fine, but we forget to be grateful for it and instead focus on what’s wrong or missing. These are the thinking errors that are most rampant and destructive. We miss what is in our hands and more importantly in our hearts.

If the hours of meditation I am practicing of late are adding up to anything surprisingly refreshing it is the acceptance of what is and just how great that can be when seen through the lens of gratitude. If ever there was a multiplier effect that can transform your life, health and relationships, gratitude for what is, is the exponent to strive for.

It is the end of spring break and my two eldest kids have left the nest again back to their new independent lives. I miss the sound of all four of them rattling around the house together. Every room is full of music or Sports Center or movies. The kitchen is full of life and the food I just stocked up on is all gone again. I am so grateful for this best single act of my life- being a mom.  One thing that I have learned from my kids- how spectacularly wonderful and fragile are the years of childhood. How fast time goes and how you can’t take one day of it for granted.