Thank You, Button

Sometimes the world is so beautiful I can’t stand it.  More accurately, the world is always beautiful, and sometimes I see just how mignificnet it is and it blows my mind.

I conducted an experiment one day, challenging myself to find the smallest, most insignificant thing I could feel grateful for.  My attention shifted to the buttons on my shirt.  Boring, commonplace, underappreciated buttons.  As I focused on them, I saw how simple they were, a no-brainer as far as inventions go.  Yet buttons didn’t always exist.  Imagine the first person to discover buttons.  He/she was probably elated at this newfound convenience.  A decorative one to boot! 

Then I pictured my shirt missing a button.  Gee, I’m glad I’m not missing a button.  You know, I actually have hundreds of buttons, and they’re all different!  So I went to look at those buttons too.  In my closet, I ran into belts and zippers and all sorts of fabrics and colors and designs.  Then I notcied the light above my head and the simple switch that turned on this amazing technology.  And I was grateful for Thomas Edison and…..

Like a runaway train, gratitude gathered momentum within me.  It sped down the track of my mind out of control.  I couldn’t stop seeing everything as amazing.  I actually had to look away – turn my brain off – for fear that it would crash.

There are days that I repeat this experiment just for the trhill – like a hyped-up child who gets off a rollercoaster and runs right back into the line to ride again.  I’m addicted to gratitude high.

The irony is, the more I see that everything matters, the more I realize that nothing does.  In gratitude-speak, the fact that I have a chair to sit on is magnificent.  The loss of that chair would be grand, too, because the floor would be there for me to sit on.    And if I didn’t have the floor, well, the ground would support me and I would be grateful for that.  And there it goes again – gratitude taking off with me in tow until I start crying because I can’t fathom the abundance in front of me, and below me, and beside me.

Mark Haddon’s autistic character in The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time observes, “I think there are so many things in just one house that it would take years to think about all of them properly.  And also, a thing is interesting because of thinking about it and not because of it being new.”

It sounds silly, but I am grateful to gratitude for showing me how to think about things ‘properly.’  And for coloring my world with so much overwhelming beauty.

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