Most of us get occasionally frazzled, overwhelmed, or drained; some of us may feel as though we’ve lost touch with ourselves in some very real and dismaying way. Contact with our “larger self” provides just the antidote we all need.
This wonderful handbooknot, as the author points out, a self-help book, but a self-acceptance bookgives us a useful pointer for recovering a sense of appreciation for your life. Here is a wise and helpful way to begin:
When we can take the perspective of our Larger Self, we can see what is sacred to us, in our life, and in the people all around us. In fact, it is just when life seems most difficult that it can help most to remember ourselves by doing what the author calls “collecting sacred moments,” the luminous moments that shine through the ordinariness of life. These help us by reminding us that we are more than the person struggling to get through the day.
Sacred moments don’t have to be huge or dramatic. When the author asked one client to recall a sacred moment from the previous week, she said, “The first thing I think of was waking up real early last Thursday. I was all alone, and I could be still, and drink my cup of coffee and look out the window at the trees. That was a sacred moment for me.” She also remembered another, during the pre-dinner hour when her children, like most others, are apt to be cranky, but instead her husband took the time to roughhouse and laugh with them.
Sacred moments don’t have to be perfect. Another woman remembered forty-five minutes stuck in a traffic jam with her husband as sacred because they used the time for a good talk instead of getting tense or fighting.
Sacred moments show us what we value. When we remember them and string them together, they become a sacred retelling of the life we are living.
Appreciation is an important aspect of the Larger Self. As Brenner says, “I’ve found that the conscious act of appreciation has tremendous benefits. In fact, appreciation appreciates. That is, whatever you appreciate gets larger and becomes more manifest in your life, giving you even more to appreciate. Finding what there is to appreciate is like watering a seed that will grow and improve your life. It helps you to stay connected to yourself. It helps you to keep the bud of your spirit open, without shriveling into resignation.”
Inspired by I Know I'm in There Somewhere, by Helene G. Brenner (Gotham Books, 2003).