Gratitude and Blessings
Thanksgiving is the time to focus on gratitude. It is a celebration, started over a century ago, when the pilgrims gave blessings for what they had in their new country. Mimicking that celebration we, ideally, gather with family and friends to pay homage for all that we have.
There has been mention, as of late, of gratitude journals and encouragements by some writers to start or maintain one. If you have not experienced this, it is an excellent suggestion, as it is quite surprising how powerful of a tool it is.
Today, I would like to share some of the things that I am most grateful for. The list includes blessings from my past and current situation.
Above the love I hold for my two, wonderful daughters, and my four awesome grandkids, is the love I have for reconnecting with my Spiritual relationship with God. I feel so blessed that I have a personal relationship that is filled with love, dependability and trust. I am grateful for the spiritual path I am currently following, which led me to this intimate relationship. It fills me with joy to deepen this experience with my meditation practice and retreat work.
When I became a mother, I experienced a fulfillment unlike any other. I knew that there was nothing and no one that could ever break that bond and tear us apart. I was wrong. I learned never to say, “It will never happen to me”. I wish I could say it has been an unending, positive experience, but I became quite ill in my personal life and alienated my daughters. I am so blessed that I have two forgiving children and have been successful in rebuilding my relationship with them. Initially, it was a trying time. They did not trust that the mother who raised them was back and reliable. I understood their skepticism. I am grateful every single day for our relationship and the love we share. I’m also grateful that I have been able to forgive myself and have a better understanding of the dynamics of what occurred.
Friendship has always been important to me and has been a part of my life since I was very young. Not everyone has friends, nor are they capable of making friends easily. I’ve recognized, through the years, that I am a very social person. I have high expectations to have my social needs met. Not good or bad, just a fact I am aware of. So, my circle of friends run from the very old to the most recent ones that I’ve met these past few years in North Carolina. They also include the friendships I’ve made through the Hub pages Community. I am also grateful for the few friendships which offer a deeper connection in my life.
I am blessed
It would be an incomplete list if I did not count the blessings received from the obvious: heath and wealth. Am I in perfect health? No, but I am aware and striving to make positive changes. So, I would include, at this point, the gratitude felt for having the intelligence and motivation to make the changes necessary to become healthier. Some of these changes include an improved dietary regime; a return to a regular exercise program; and a determination to lose the extra weight that I’ve gained these past few years.
My financial goal was laid out at the beginning of the year as a ‘direction’ I was moving toward. Again, the gratitude is extended to having a steady income, having made a choice over two decades ago to move into a stable career, and having the resolve to never say ‘die’. Tenacity has been a characteristic I’ve carried from childhood. It is a razor sharp edge between staying steadfast and being stubborn. As for the goal to become debt free: I stubbornly stay steadfast! It is a mantra that keeps me moving toward that horizon despite all of the unforeseen setbacks, as well as my own personal undoing, such as falling into old habits, like spending before planning.
I am blessed that I have a home to live in. My heart goes out to all of the people who are homeless, or who have been homeless. I know that there is a reason for all things, but sometimes it is beyond comprehension. I’ve taken care of patients who are homeless, more than I can count. I have a dear friend who was homeless for quite some time. I know it can happen to anyone. I know it has nothing to do with worth or being good or bad; smart or stupid. I know the numbers are increasing because of our current economic situation. It is frightening and can feel overwhelming just thinking about it. Therefore, I’m grateful that I do have a place to live.
I’m grateful for my job. People tell me that a nurse will always find work. However, some jobs have lower employment opportunities and many places are putting hiring freezes on their facilities. Therefore, even in the worse of the working conditions one has to think twice about leaving.
Power of Gratitude
I am grateful for:
Louise Hay is an amazing woman and metaphysics teacher. She influenced me back in the ‘80’s when I was attending the (then named) Church of Today, in Warren, Michigan. She offered a workshop about gratitude and could find anything a worthy cause for being thankful for. So, here is a short list of some of the things that one would and would not ordinarily think of:
I’m grateful for my body. This body of mine is an awesome structure. Its heart beats regularly, despite having been broken a time or two; the muscles and bones are strong, despite the pain I feel from old dance strains, which are put to rest with mild over-the-counter medicine and massage; the brain is still sharp, even though my memory seems to be more select; my eyes still see, despite the need for reading glasses; the ears hear very well, to my nephews dismay, when I catch him muttering under his breath; my kidneys function well, as proven through my visits to the bathroom wherever I am; my skin still has a glow, despite the wrinkles that abound; and my hair is full and thick-and any color I want it to be!
I’m grateful for my son-in-laws. They are part of my life, and part of our family.
I’m grateful I am a grandmother. The joy of being a grandparent is indescribable.
I’m grateful for my siblings. Yes, even the ones I don’t speak to. We have a history and that is all part of our story together.
I’m grateful for the animals and plants that nourish my body giving it fuel, energy, and brain power.
I’m grateful for the world of people who are different from me-cultures and colors make up a beautiful tapestry of life.
I’m grateful for my sense of humor. Inherited by both my father, who loved puns and taught me to appreciate limmericks, and my mother, who loved jokes and a good time, I have been known to forget the punch lines of good jokes.
I’m grateful for the traffic on the road-it allows me to practice my cuss words…er, I mean my patience.
It is astounding how subtle the positive support can show up in our lives when we are in sync with best intentions. We live in a remarkable world filled with great opportunity and endless potential. Stop and think of the myriad of ordinary things that make your life easier. Modern technology has created miracles for those who do not live in third world countries. We have much to be grateful for.
Count your blessings; look around at all that you have and think of what you are thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Dr Deepak Chopra
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