I received free cognitive therapy because I was surrounded by a crew of little people who greeted each morning with wonder and awe.
Gratefulness is the key to spiritual joy, no matter how little we think we have in the eyes of modern society. In fact, St. Teresa thanked God for the Things she did NOT own.
The fleeting dream which eludes many of us is happiness. We are running around, miserable in our insular little worlds, only catching glimpses of the world around us through dung coloured glasses.
The solution to our dilemma is easy.
Take off our dung coloured lenses
A therapist would charge you hundreds of dollars to teach you how to do this, calling this method cognitive therapy. I will give you this key to happiness for free.
I discovered this secret after years of mothering my tiny children. They taught me to take my eyes off my exhaustion and to take delight in the plethora of tiny details all around me. Little kids are born with a sense of wonder and the ability to enjoy little things. My daughters retain an appreciation for detail; they all remember the little things.
A friend of mine once asked Mary, when she was about six, what she liked most about Christmas. She replied immediately,
My daughter’s answer astounded Martha.
Similarly, one evening before dinner Allison now a young adult, said,
“I always remember the fresh smell of clean sheets every week.”
Such a small thing, yet a child, with a heart full of gratitude, takes great pleasure from it.
A few years ago, one daughter was recounting how pleased she was with a plant in her garden. Realizing she was enjoying such a small thing she laughed,
“Oh no, I sound just like Mum.”
Another daughter celebrated their marriage with a huge wedding reception for two hundred people. She had planned every detail from the match covers to the large buffet. Most of all, she poured her creative spirit into making all the decorations by hand with sisters and friends. The reception room, with black backdrops, was stunning. From green wheat grass in planters, tissue paper flowers in greens and plum to spray painted Hydrangea blooms in purple, silver, black and lime green, the room looked professionally decorated.
The things that raise my spirits are usually small and most people would not consider them significant. For example, one Christmas I was very tired and only one gift brought me genuine joy. It was hand crocheted dish clothes from my friend Cathy. ..dish clothes, beautifully made, colourful, something I used a hundred times a day.
Perhaps this is one of the blessings of a large family; free cognitive therapy from a crew of little people who greeted each morning with wonder and awe.
Melanie Jean Juneau serves as the Editor in Chief of Catholic Stand. She is a mother of nine children who has edited her kid's university term papers for over a decade. She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, a columnist at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC, author of Echoes of the Divine and Oopsy Daisy, and coauthor of Love Rebel: Reclaiming Motherhood.
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