We have a hurricane heading toward Florida this weekend. When I last checked the “cone” (the probable path of the storm that widens as it moves into the future) we were in the very lower edge, but by the time you read this, we might be right in the middle of the path. It feels like we were here almost exactly two years ago with my ex-friend Irma.
Since I believe that the opposite of fear and lack is gratitude, I’ve been thinking it’s time to scare some up today. Where to start? The beginning. I’m grateful for the technology that gives us advance notice and allows us to prepare for an oncoming storm. I’m grateful for the stores that stock up on gallons of fresh water, propane, and canned goods this time of year. This hurricane is projected to be only a category two, and so my husband says if it doesn’t get any worse or come any closer, we just need to make sure we have enough ice, rum, and fruit juice to last until the electricity comes back on. I know he’s kidding, but I like how he thinks.
I’m grateful for the friends across the country that reach out and offer support, offer a place to stay if we evacuate, or even simply call to discuss our hurricane plans.
I’m grateful for the dogs. I’m grateful for their cold noses, the warmth of their fur as they come stand by me and press against my legs. I’m grateful for my husband who makes me laugh and just placed an Instacart order for Hurricane Party Supplies — whoever came up with this is a brilliant and time-saving genius.
So, why is gratitude important? Why does it help? It really comes down to a single answer: Gratitude changes our experience of reality.
Same reality, different experience — a BETTER experience.
My gratitude isn’t going to make the hurricane go away. But when it comes, I will have a clearer head. And because of that, Philip and I will make better choices than we would if our thoughts were clouded up with fear. And that fear sounds like thoughts about how unfair this is, or how this is the worst possible time for a hurricane (is there ever a good time?), or with dread of losing everything we’ve work for .
Gratitude is more than an attitude. Gratitude is a way of choosing a better, richer, and more positive experience.