The other morning Nick woke up and began singing as usual. I am always intrigued as to what he begins to sing. Morning songs have a theme. This time, he didn’t start at the beginning, “Oh think twice, it’s just another day for you and me in paradise. Oh think twice, ’cause it’s just another day for you. You and me in paradise, think about it.” I thought, sure this is paradise. In the midst of a pandemic, potentially impacting us physically, economically and definitely emotionally. Fear is rampant and I feel overwhelmed.
He changed songs, “I feared my heart would beat in secrecy, I faced the nights alone. Oh, how could I have known. That all my life I only needed you? Oh, almost paradise, We’re knockin’ on heavens door. Almost paradise. How could we ask for more? I swear that I can see forever in your eyes. Paradise.”
Paradise by definition is often referred to as the ultimate abode of the just or where Adam and Eve lived before the Fall in the Garden of Eden. It is an idyllic place. A place where everything is exactly as I would want it to be.
Nick’s song choices made me think. What is my definition of paradise? What are my personal components of paradise? Peace, comfort, the love of my family, food, laughter, entertainment. I have all of those things. None of those things have been taken from me. I am blessed. Yes if I allow myself, my brain can go down the rabbit hole of fear. But I am not experiencing any of those fearful things. I also know that if I do begin to experience things that are hard, I will face them straight on and will forge a path to walk through that valley of shadow.
After feeling such gratitude I wondered, when my outlook falters, what can I do to believe that I am there? In paradise. First of all, Nick seems to know when I need an attitude adjustment and will sing me the appropriate song. That is another blessing. Second, I have placed pictures around me of things that are uplifting and bring me joy. These beautiful pictures are images of my loved ones and places I have been as well as inspiring quotes. Third, I need to notice when my thoughts are shifting toward the dark side. For me, the thoughts come first and the emotions follow. Each of us have our own patterns, and we need to become aware of them.
These three things are both easy to implement and difficult to remember to do. Using music, beautiful images, and increased personal awareness has helped me to recognize that I am in paradise, right now.
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