I was trying to decide what to cover in my blog, and what’s been on my mind for the last few weeks is the role of gratitude in my life. Admittedly I’ve been thinking about gratitude because it’s the time of year when we gather used clothes, books, and toys to donate. Of course, there’s also thanksgiving, the time of year when we count our blessings and give thanks.
For me gratitude isn’t a seasonal thing. Every morning when I awake, I say a prayer and mention all the things for which I’m thankful. During the day, when I’m not too busy, I give thanks to God again for my health (with all it’s ups and down), for the people in my life, for the opportunities S/He gives me, for allowing me to live another day, for permitting me to be a
a mother, a wife, an independent minded womyn who can’t seem to keep her opinions to herself. And again at bedtime, I try to remember to give thanks for the present day, for my blessings, and I ask for another day.
I used to only be grateful for the good things in my life. When bad things happened, I wondered, “Why did this happen to me?” A couple of years after the injury, one of my college friends said to me, “You’ve got to change how you look at things. Think about it as, “Things happening for you, not to you. Take ownership of the outcome of the events, turn them into positive results.” This piece of advice has helped me tremendously. When I have a seizure, a medical setback, I don’t bemoan my circumstances. I remember to be grateful to be alive, to have the support I have in place, and I try to learn something from the event. I know it could be so much worse; it once was.
Being grateful has helped my outlook on life. It has helped me keep a smile on my face, and hope in my heart. The things that happen in my life, the difficult and arduous medical problems I have to confront, all happen for me. I am stronger, wiser, and more grateful when I survive the setbacks.