Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Days of Gratitude - Day 4

Trials and suffering can actually refine and deepen gratefulness if we allow them to show us not to take things for granted.
Robert Emmons

When you talk about gratitude, people often think you are a Pollyanna with no sense of how difficult life can be. Actually it is the difficult times that have taught me the most about being grateful. Today I found out my 1 year old niece is in the hospital in Michigan in critical condition. It doesn't look good for her...I could rail against the forces of life or I can work to arrive at a sense of gratefulness that the rest of my nieces and nephews are healthy and that she has been in our lives...

You can see ugliness in the forest of thorns or you can see that they have their own beauty. Does it mean I don't feel the darker emotions i.e. a sense of sadness or frustration and so on....No, it's what you do with these feelings that will give life it's meaning: despair or hope....hatefulness or gratefulness. It's not an easy lesson, but only you can chose what you will do with the experiences you are given and what meaning if any you will assign to them.

And that is where my gratitude lies today:  that I'm getting better at the lesson,. I'm not perfect yet, but I'm working to arrive there.

Daddy Stove Pipe, "Maria Wanders Through the Thorns":

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