We often take for granted the ordinary things of every day life, but these are often what we long for in times following tragedy. When we are beset by tragedy we can find comfort in doing the little things. These include taking care of our families and ourselves; making and meeting schedules; cooking a meal; washing dishes; filling out forms; making phone calls to follow up on business items – you get the idea. In these ordinary activities, though, we discover there is much comfort. They take us away from ourselves, and our troubles, for a short time, so that our time can be other-focused.
Sometimes just an ordinary breath seems like a big deal. At one point, I remember that, during my most immediate bereavement period, I would sometimes become conscious of the fact that my breathing had slowed to a point of almost non-existence. So, I would force myself to breathe. Breathing in and out consciously helped me to focus on the breath, and in turn helped me to relax a bit.
Try it. Take that deeper breath. And another. Breathing deeply, each breath leads to a deeper breath. As you breathe more deeply, filling your lungs, opening your ribs, you’ll notice your chest lifting, your back straightening. Your head comes up, and you look up. Open your eyes wide and continue that skyward gaze. Don’t you feel better?
**You are to distinguish between what is holy and what is ordinary… Lev. 10:10
Now, not to take liberties, (okay, maybe a little) but in your world, when times are tough, what do you see ordinary that is not also holy? Every day acts of love for yourself or your family are filled with holiness. What we do for those around us in a daily act of kindness or love is holy. So, make dinner, read your child or grandchild a book or help them make cookies. Then sit down with a nice cup of tea, and breathe as you reflect on your day, your week, your life, and remember the good, holy and ordinary days. They are many.
Mary Boscaino is a free-lance writer, specializing in prayerful spirituality. She has written for Prayables.com and Everyday Christian.