therefore do not worry about tomorrow

therefore do not worry about tomorrow

for tomorrow will worry about its own things

Mindfulness. Living in the present, not fretting about the past nor worrying about the future. So hard to do, yet if we can achieve it how much happier we might become.

I heard recently that it is not possible to be anxious and thankful simultaneously because of the way our brains are wired. Therefore if we can count our blessings instead of filling out heads with anxious thoughts, our anxiety should lessen. If that actually works, isn't that be amazing, because there is certainly alot to be anxious about…our health, climate change, nations at war, debt, our concerns for family and friends, to name but a few. Loved ones dying, our dying, loneliness, hunger, cold, things we may fear. The world can be a very hard place to live in. It is small wonder there is so much depression and hopelessness around.

depressed man

I'm sure the God I believe in did not want a world such as this. He designed a place of beauty and joy, where he wanted humans to live in harmony with one another and the nature around. Our free choice and our greed has destroyed so much yet each of us, individually, can work towards making a positive difference to where we live and those we encounter. Kindness, empathy, a smile can make such a change to someone else's day. Having time to say hallo and be a listening ear to our neighbour.

We are so blessed to be part of the boating community. From reading the feeds on some of the narrowboat Facebook groups you can sense how kind and helpful people are towards each other. Of course there are always those who appear embittered, grouchy, angry. But maybe we have to wonder the root of those emotions. What life blows has led to someone becoming so unhappy and discontent?

The joy of spending time with a tiny baby, who looks at life with contentment, reminds me that we are born innocent and so often it is our circumstances that lead to trauma which then leads to dis-ease. Spring is a time of new beginnings, fresh growth and vibrant colour. Perhaps we can make a difference to our neighbour by offering a hand of friendship, listening to their concerns and seeing what we might be able to do to help.

For instance, I have just read a book highlighting the work of Christians Against Poverty (CAP). The work they do turns around the lives of so many people who have spiralled into debt and just don't know how to get out of it. All the stories spoke of advisors who came alongside, non judgemental, caring and wise, able to enable the debtor to regain control of their lives without shame or loss of dignity. To give them a fresh start and hope for the future.

buds on bare branch

Now, more than ever, we need to look out for one another, spreading a little kindness and love. I have an image of a bare winter tree, save for some tiny buds, that gradually turn into lush green leaves all gently swaying in the breeze. Each of us can be a leaf on that tree, living alongside one another in community, offering both shade from the sun when the world gets too hot and being a thing of beauty in itself to those who are in need around us. However small and insignificant we may feel we each have the ability to make a big impact on those around us and make our world a better place to be.

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About Mary Haines

Mary and her husband Richard now live full time on their 43ft narrowboat Naomhog. Their plan is to travel the waterways March-November and they want to be a 'Listening boat'. "We want to encourage people to tell us their stories because we feel we have time to listen. In this fast paced world listening is not necessarily much valued and is in short supply!"