A Huggable Gratitude Mantra From A Three Year Old

Boy Hugging Planet

A few days ago, I was dejected: the boutique hotel we had chosen for our family holiday called to say they had been sold out just a few hours before. As I walked off into my room gloomily, my three-year-old son tagged behind me, asking me: what happened, papa?

Papa is sad, I told him.

Why, he persisted.

I looked into his serious eyes and decided to give him the truth even though it would not make any sense to him: “The hotel we wanted to stay in for our holidays does not have rooms for us so papa is sad.”

He screwed up his forehead trying to understand, then replied: “But mama is still there.”

I stopped in my tracks. Yes, it was true: I did still have his mama, and him, and my family. And so much more to be happy for in that moment. I took a deep breath. And I realized I had more than enough air to fill my lungs for the rest of my life. I had enough earth to explore for the rest of my days. And my life itself is a pure gift – none of us can ‘earn’ even a moment of it.

That tiny exchange with my son triggered off a little snowball of gratitude. Over the week, I began to see that what I called my ‘burdens’ were blessings I was blaming to avoid facing the real issues; and those ‘real’ issues didn’t actually exist outside of my thoughts. Perhaps the only thing as amazing as seeing how much is perfect in your life is seeing how easily the mind gets locked onto the tiny apparent imperfections.

It turned out to be a challenging week, with a few unexpected expenses, delays and stressful moments. But whenever I found myself pulled down into negativity, I reminded myself: But mama is still there. It made me smile and became my personal code to remind me of everything that is all around serving me in that moment.

Eventually, our hotel room worked out perfectly too, as we have found an even better option – a mountain cottage – for ourselves. But the greater joy is in knowing that, regardless of whether it happened or not, ‘mama is still there’.

7 thoughts on “A Huggable Gratitude Mantra From A Three Year Old

  1. Hey Aalif – Loved the post to the core!!
    You & your son are spot on when you say – “mama is still there”.
    We have so many things around us that we need and some in excess – but still we look at the stuffs that we do not have. If only, we start counting our blessings – we would be happier forever.
    Thanks for the lovely post – I’m starting my day reading this post, I’m sure my day is gonna be awesome.

    • Thanks Pavithra!! I hope you have an awesome day too… And the best part is that even if you do not have an awesome day ‘mama is still there’ 🙂

  2. Dear Aalif, I just love that post – it reminds me what I learned traveling in India just a few weeks ago. We (my sis and I) wanted to go to visit a few tiny small Tibetan villages in Kinnaur Valley, HP. First our group was stopped by a rock fall and we had to wait an hour till we could continue our journey and then we were stopped by a Check Point which has moved a few km further down the previous week. As without permit (for Spiti and upper Kinnaur) our journey was ending in front of this Check Point, the villages just 5km away, nearly in sight. First we were upset, why has our guide not asked at the hotel in Kalpa before we left, certainly a moving Check Point is a target well known in the valley. Then as the road to drive back was closed for 3h we were looking for a Plan B and ended up in a small village where we were happily greeted by school kids an locals and spend a great time there. What did I learn: never be sure something happens according to plan till it does actually happen and always have your heart open for a Plan B and yes “mama is still there” 🙂 Thanks for your wonderful lovely inspiring Blog, I just love reading it! LoL Béatrice

    • Thanks for sharing your experience Beatrice! Nothing in my life has gone according to my plans but what has happened has always been even more brilliant! 🙂

      • 🙂 I love to make plans knowing that it quite never happens according to plan but that makes life interesting and magnificent 🙂

      • 🙂 I love to make plans (specifically when I am traveling) knowing that it quite never happens according to plan but that makes life interesting and magnificent 🙂 Béatrice

  3. This is one more little input, so pure spoken and mentioned easily, that for us “elder” it is a true lesson. Thanks again for remembering and sharing. Life is beautiful!

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