Look Back Every Once in a While
Both when things are bad as well as good — because in it lies gratitude.
Many people will always advise to look back — “now that things are good”.
In life, most times we get carried away with its happenings. We grow up accomplishing what was expected of us from our immediate family and society at large. We get enrolled into school by our parents and taught that the ultimate goal is to always “pass” that is, do well. Whatever that means. Afterwards, we begin to search for good secondary/high schools to enroll in and then college and/ or university. Before the end of your degree, you’re almost certain with what you want to become and what line of work that’ll enable you so. As you work, you’re simultaneously in a relationship with hopes that you’ll get married to that first love of your life. As time goes on, life continues to swirl you left and right with all the good and bad respectively, the yin and yang of it. By the time you know it, your age is times 4, 8 and then times 10 of what it used to be. The challenges in your family, workplace, church, and other societal groups continue to engulf all your time and energy. In between all these, you take the back seat, relegate when it gets hard and when the going gets good again, the brain signals more release of serotonin which directly inflates your previously dampened mood to a happy one. The adrenaline kicks up, you’re excited and more willing to actively indulge again. The cycle continues. You barely have time for yourself let alone think and decipher what next. You are like a set pendulum clock with not much control. Suddenly, a different kind of life happens to you. The kind that disheartens you so much you’re forced to question your entire existence; what you’ve been up to thus far, the neglected and attended, ups and downs and then, you remember the one word that never crossed your mind before or even if it did, you haven’t truly experienced it before — GRATITUDE.
You take a break for a moment and look back
And analyze the epiphany you just had of what the world is truly made of and how exhibiting gratitude helps you live and do better. You experience the Eureka moment where you begin to understand the role gratitude plays in helping you deal with your very nasty, hasty past (considering that you’re 10x your age now), your brain begins to stabilize into what the word life means and how only gratitude, despite all, could let you also hope for a better future. The serotonin is significantly reduced; adrenaline pump reduces also and the only euphoric feeling now comes from being alive to witness it all.
Suddenly, something great happens again and your just concluded ugly life event gets alleviated — again. You begin to wonder what path to go; to get carried away again by its happenings or to relegate to an autopilot mode as before, forgetting all the lessons learnt. You’re getting the mixed signals.
But this time, you take an even deeper break with breaths associated.
And you choose gratitude again.
You know why you’re choosing it again. Because it saved you before (during your ugly moments) and it’ll save you again; it made you realize that this world is full of vanity and life’s worth living well when you’re still alive and unworthy to be wasted on frivolous things. Frivolous things like worrying about what other people think about you, worrying about how your past could’ve been better lived or whether your future will pan out more predictably amazing. You most importantly realize that life is better lived on your own terms and not based on anyone’s expectations of what you should be. And then maturity kicks in, peace of mind follows suit. You begin to practice self-awareness that’ll catch you, peradventure, you fall out of the loop. Personal growth and development skills that’ll truly help you better adapt to this thing called life. Your serotonin level behaves itself and begins to slowly stabilize. Your adrenaline pump becomes more selective of what it should use it’s resultant effect or energy on.
All because of the ripple effects of gratitude from life happenings.
Look back sometimes so that you ensure you’re treading on the right path in the right way.
Look back sometimes to find out how far you’ve come and to determine which way to move forward.