I’ve been sick lately and I am feeling a great deal of gratitude for pharmaceuticals because without them, it would have been much more difficult.
I’m sure that there is an underlying emotional component to illness. It felt a bit like I was drowning this past week which could be a manifestation of grief ‘smothering’ me. I acknowledge that, but, right now, I want to talk about gratitude.
Many of us strive to remember our blessings on a daily basis, but out of the twenty-four hours in each day, how much time do we really spend acknowledging them?
Today, this moment, I am grateful that I can breathe with less effort after a week of inhalers, nebulizers, cough medicine, antibiotics, steroids and a visit to the ER. I am so thankful, I want to get down on my knees, put my palms together and say thank-you, thank-you for the wonder of modern science and the ease of my breath.
I take so much for granted. I have spent too much time bemoaning my plight, missing my son and grandkids, which just made it worse. I know it’s important to be aware of and experience the normal, appropriate feelings that occur after traumatic events, but there comes a time when we must stand in our strength and find the courage to press on.
I find that practicing gratitude gives me strength. It changes my focus from the have nots to the haves. And I have so much.
My brother called recently and shared his joy of being a grandfather. I am very happy for him, and he is a wonderful grandfather. Of course, a nagging voice inside me kept reminding me that I didn’t have my grandchildren, that I am alone and forsaken, isn’t it terrible and why me?
After we hung up, I had a moment of sadness about my situation, (because of what I was telling myself about it). Then I reminded myself that the best way to make myself miserable was to compare his bounty, or anyone else’s for that matter, to my lack. The only thing making comparisons does is make someone a winner or a loser. There is no up side to this way of thinking,
Everyone walking this earth has their own itinerary. Where they go, what they find, experience, learn, gain or lose during their journey is theirs and only theirs.
This is my journey and I am ready to honor it. It is mine, only mine and it’s a beautiful thing. I have had the privilege of walking on this earth for over 60 years now, and I have seen more than I ever imagined, felt more than I ever thought my heart could contain and learned more than I thought I was capable of ever knowing.
As I grow older, I view my life as a miracle. I’ve survived so much and been given so much grace. My eyes have beheld stars, ocean tides and giant sequoias. I have gazed with wonder at my sleeping child. My ears have heard the music of Beethoven, the laughter of babies, the sound of wind through tall pines. My arms have cradled my grandchildren. My heart has remained loving even as it became cracked and hollowed, forced to continue to live within its own haunted walls.
Now that I can breathe deeply again, I will start here, today, to breathe new life into my own life by practicing gratitude and appreciation for what I have and for who I am.
There is much to live for and I choose to believe that the best is yet to come.
“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.”
– Chinese proverb