I want you to stop for a second— close your eyes and place your hand over your heart. Do you feel that? That pulse is your everything. That pulse is something we take for granted every-single-day we are alive on this earth. That pulse may seem like just a little thing, but it is the biggest thing you will ever have. It is proof that you are still alive, even though you may feel dead inside. It is beating constantly, trying to tell you that you must get back up, you still have things to do.
It is your compass in rough times— it’s literally pounding in your chest, begging you to just stand up again; begging you to face whatever knocked you down; begging you to just listen; begging you to remember that as long as it’s still beating, you still have the strength to fight back.
We are constantly being tested— our patience, our physical strengths, our mental strength, our ability to see the bright side, or our ability to continue getting back up in times of failure. I think we are mostly being tested to appreciate the little things in life, and I think that we are always failing this particular test.
People don’t even realize that just them being able to wake up and get out of bed in the morning is something many don’t get. Standing on your own two feet? Having a roof over your head? Clothes on your back? A coat for the cold? The ability to shower everyday? Loved ones by your side? Food?
Reading this right now, you might think that these examples are actually big things. I agree, they are. But they are things that certain people just expect, and others would kill for. When we have hot water running down our backs, we don’t think of the people who are less fortunate, showering in freezing cold water, or even bathing in a lake, or with a bucket of muddy water.
It’s crazy to think about how much harder you actually could have it. In no way am I trying to invalidate the things that you do struggle with everyday, I’m just trying to ask you to appreciate the things you do have.
Now, the actual little things that happen to us on a daily basis that we don’t appreciate are just as important as the big, little things. I’ve made it a habit to smile at strangers in passing, for no reason at all— hoping to brighten their day even just a little. And it always makes me feel happy to see them smile back. Just a gesture as little as that can completely turn someones day around.
Whenever I hear my favorite song come on the radio, I allow myself to sing along, even if I’m having a terrible day— I allow something as simple as a song to remind me things aren’t always as bad as they seem; or if they are as bad as they seem, they won’t stay this way for long.
Being in the presence of my loved ones—friends and family— is one of the biggest ones. Once you’ve accepted that they won’t be with you forever, just having them near you means so much more. You have to try and soak in every second with them you are allowed, that way when they are gone, you have something to look back on.
My point is, you have to start appreciating everything you do have, and stop focusing on the things you don’t. You have to give back— just a simple smile in passing can give someone the hope they need to keep going. Giving back doesn’t always mean money. Giving back is free on so many levels. It will also teach you that someone always has it worse than you do.
The one thing we all have in common is the beating of our heart. So whenever you feel like you have nothing, you are nothing, and you will always be nothing… Or to be less dramatic, whenever you just feel down and are looking for a sign to help you get back up… Close your eyes and place your hand over your heart. Feel it. Really feel it. It’s beating to tell you that you aren’t finished here. It will stop when it’s ready to stop. And although you won’t know when that time may come— it doesn’t matter. Because right now, it’s beating. Appreciate the pounding. Appreciate that you were born with something that holds so much power. And try to remind yourself everyday not to take these things for granted anymore. They may seem small now, but one day when your life is nearing its end, you’ll realize that these things were the biggest of them all.