Dark Ponderings for Deeper Gratitude

Often in moments of extreme joy or beauty, I’ve been known to remark upon the fact that we will die.

My friends say this is more than a little morbid. I agree. I’ve never really understood why I do this.

Yesterday, I read some notes on Stoic Philosophy and realized there was a positive reason behind this practice of negative imagining. A reason beyond my own morbidity.

Darkness can be a tool for gratitude.

“As we go about our day, periodically pause to reflect on the fact that you will not live forever and therefore this day could be your last…There will be a last time you hear the sound of snow falling, watch the moon rise, smell popcorn, feel the warmth of a child falling asleep in your arms. Every time you do something could be the last time you do it, and this recognition can invest the things you do with a significance and intensity that would otherwise be absent.”

I like this idea. These dark thoughts that run counter to the beautiful moments serve​ a purpose. And we can harness the power of negative imaginings to better appreciate what we have while we have it.

Today, this idea is more resonant for me than usual. My family will all one day be gone, and thus, I am so grateful right now that they are all here now.

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