Gratitude in the Face of Pain

For the last two weeks, I've been hiding from the world. I honestly think I've been recovering from a broken heart. The results of the American election threw a curve ball at me that hit harder than even Brexit could have. 

I couldn't figure out why it hurt me so much, it felt deeply personal and I had no words to articulate the pain. There have been so many voices screaming into the void over the last two weeks, some useful, some not so much and I couldn't figure out how to add to them. I also couldn't get online and start acting like everything was normal.

So, I just remained quiet. I cried a bit. I got really angry. I stayed in bed way longer than I should have.

Then last week I went to celebrate some amazingly talented musicians I get to call my friends and the launch of their new record label in the beautiful St. Pancras Old Church.

I was overcome with emotion and gratitude for the beautiful, diverse, loving life I get to be a part of. 

The Cordillera Blanca, Peru 2016

The Cordillera Blanca, Peru 2016

2016 has been a pretty tough year, it has taken so many of our most loved musicians and left us with the hot steaming mess that is Donald Trump and Brexit.

On a personal level, I've had a few face-down-in-the-dirt moments this year. 

So, I started focusing on all the rubbish, which is so easily done. Leading me to forget that it has also been a year full of wonder and joy. I travelled all over Colombia and Peru, I took a slow boat down the Amazon, I went trekking in the Andes, I started this blog, I've learned so much and grown so much.

So, instead of allowing the crappy bits of 2016 to steal my joy I have decided to actively choose gratitude in the face of pain and negativity. 

Some of the things I'm grateful for today

If you've been having a tough time of it lately I hope you can find some peace and joy in the small moments of beauty that surround your everyday. 

I built my house beside the wood
So I could hear you singing
And it was sweet and it was good
And love was all beginning

Fare thee well my nightingale
’Twas long ago I found you
Now all your songs of beauty fail
The forest closes ‘round you

The sun goes down behind a veil
’Tis now that you would call me
So rest in peace my nightingale
Beneath your branch of holly

Fare thee well my nightingale
I lived but to be near you
Though you are singing somewhere still
I can no longer hear you
— Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing