Access makes invisible

Constant access to anything makes it invisible. Gratitude brings it back into focus.

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I live in the Rocky Mountains in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I am surrounded by stunning natural beauty and encounter wild animals almost daily. I have often wondered if I’ve become complacent in my awe of this place until I was recently struck by a thought that cut deep into my existence.

On a recent road trip with my family I was daydreaming and gazing out the car window when out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of something common, but saw it with new eyes.  What I saw was a group of tourists on the side of the road taking photos of a handful of bighorn sheep. As I watched the visitors inch closer to the dangerous wild animals I was struck first with concern for their well being then harsh criticism over their response to something as banal as a herd of sheep. Rather than revel in the beauty of these majestic wild animals I was contemplating why anyone would ever want to photograph this roadside scene,  nevermind risk their lives to do so?

This thought suddenly sent me back to the first time I ever saw a big horned sheep. As a 19 year old girl living in the majestic Jasper National Park in Alberta, I eagerly whipped out my camera every time I saw an elk, bighorn sheep,  deer, and of course a bear. It was an awesome and new experience to cross paths with such animals and snapping a photo was part of the excitement. Those photographs live in a box somewhere and have long lost their luster, but for a time they hung on my walls and refrigerator and filled me with enthusiasm and appreciation for the place I temporarily called home. 

When did it change? At what point did this experience go from awesome to ordinary? Why do I so easily criticize people for doing the exact same thing I did years ago? As I followed this thought I realized that there was a profound lesson here.

Why does the newness of something dictate its value?  Perhaps our conditioning to want the next and the newest and the best and the brightest has eroded our ability to value what we already have. Would escaping this paradigm not alleviate some of the pressure to constantly work to accumulate and obtain?

What I realized in that moment was that access creates invisibility. When we have constant, never ending access to anything it loses its value. Constant access to money reduces the value of each dollar. Constant access to love can make it so invisible that we take it for granted. Living in a place without war makes peace invisible.

I don’t want to ever lose sight of what is true and what is right and what is important no matter how accessible it is to me. The best way to do this is to practice daily gratitude. Gratitude opens the heart and the eyes to things we already have and brings the invisible back into focus. When we take time to really appreciate the things that are presently in our life we direct our attention to what we love rather than focusing on what is missing.

So to those eager tourists I say a humble namaste and thank you for reminding me to appreciate all that lies in front of me.

Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

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74 thoughts on “Access makes invisible

  1. That’s so true Joanne and beautiful post! I am grateful and I personally practice daily Gratitude, I love what you say “Gratitude opens the heart and the eyes to things we already have and brings the invisible back into focus” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jo
    “The best way to do this is to practice daily gratitude. Gratitude opens the heart and the eyes to things we already have and brings the invisible back into focus. When we take time to really appreciate the things that are presently in our life we direct our attention to what we love rather than focusing on what is missing”.
    You are absolutely right most of the time we worried about troublesome past or uncertain future and in between we lose the pure pleasure of present.
    Enjoyable experience to read this post………

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “When we take time to really appreciate the things that are presently in our life we direct our attention to what we love rather than focusing on what is missing.” This is the crucial sentences. Wonderful. If we all would take this to heart and only live like that. There was peace on earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for posting the link to this post! I was recently struck with a similar thought, but you definitely gave me some food for thought. I also think that sometimes we get so caught up in what’s going on in our lives, that our minds stop focusing on our surroundings, the support we get from people in our lives, etc. Then the mind starts focusing on something else to the point that we forget what we appreciated in the first place and start taking it for granted. That’s why I started Monday Quotes, so that I could remind myself once a week (and give myself a goal for the week) to put my life on hold for a moment and reflect.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How very interesting… And I couldn’t agree more. I remember wondering why people would want to take pictures of the cows (wearing their typical bells) back home. As for me it was the most normal thing to see. Then we moved to Australia and Up to date I took countless pictures of Kangaroos. But I realized that over the years they got less and less.
    We grow accustomed to something and stop seeing the beauty of it at some point. And how wonderful is it though, if someone, somehow can make you see it again? It’s like taking a little child for a walk… They see the miracles in everything. Things we completely take for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with you. Familiarity erodes the value of destinations and things. I cannot tell you how much more I appreciate all that my hometown has to offer, after nearly a decade of living away. Thank you for leading me to this lovely post.

    Like

  7. I’m so happy I found your blog through a link shared on another blog. This is such a beautifully worded post; I hope you don’t mind that I re-blogged it. I’ve learned to be grateful for every day since suffering a bleed in 2011. Though I have my share of good days and bad, I ALWAYS find something to celebrate each day. Have a great day. Eva

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week #29 | A Momma's View

  9. Reblogged this on ofsenseandsensibility and commented:
    So very true familiarity breeds contempt a contempt that eats away at your treasures.We must keep fighting this contempt because if it/they were true and beautiful then they still are even now.We just have to remember it constantly.
    Perfectly written Jo,I LOVED THIS.
    IP

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You reminded us of a fact we easily loose sight of, appreciation
    Written in such a way that brought it home to me so naturally a lot of truth.
    I should always stay aware of more than aware but consciously mindful._/\_

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to hear that this post resonates with you.
      Being consciously mindful of the riches in your daily life make you feel truly blessed. In our distracted modern world, where conspicuous consumption is offered as the path to happiness, basic gratitude is the antidote.

      Liked by 1 person

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