Today I came across this “Thought for the Day” on a poetry website (https://www.poetry-chaikhana.com):
Don’t resent the work.
It gives you strength to stand
whole and silent
before the Mystery.
– Ivan M. Granger
Granger may be talking about a more significant kind of work, but I immediately thought of all the little things that I resent doing each day. This is the stuff I “have to” do, the “shoulds” — much of it just the tedious things in work and life that we all have to attend to. Things like those emails I have to return, the doctor’s appointment I should make, and the research I need to do in order to fix my misbehaving computer.
Now, sometimes the things we think we “should” do aren’t actually all that important. (Do I really need to respond to every single one of those emails?!). But as the Thought of the Day suggests, many of those things that we resent are just part of the “work” of our lives. And all that work goes into making us who we are, it helps us learn and grow, it helps us become more whole, it gives us resilience to cope with the mysteries of life, and it gives us strength to stand with joy before our loving Creator.
To help remember this, I’ve made a change to one of my daily practices. Each morning I had been in the practice of writing down three things for which I am grateful. But recently I’ve shifted to thinking about the day ahead, and giving thanks for the things that I will “get to do” — and they are often the more challenging things, or the things I will likely resent the most. I give thanks for getting the chance to solve the computer problem, for getting to take care of myself by making that doctor’s appointment, and for getting to feel more organized by responding to a bunch of my email. Just that simple change in perspective from “have to” to “get to” has been a wonderful way to reframe my days. It’s helped me let go of some of that resentment, and helped me find the value in all the work I do.
Perhaps reframing your work as work that you “get to” do will help you too to let go of resentment, and give you the strength to stand, whole and silent, before the Mystery.