I am reminded again that in the U.S. it will be Thanksgiving soon and along with that; I am reminded of the power that gratitude can have in my life. It is one of those tools that when I use it my world opens up. A daily practice of thinking about and listing what I am thankful for and why, even the hard stuff, can really shift perspective for me. Some of the hardest times in my life, that at one time I thought had no value, helped me move into the life I have now.
I used to be very skeptical about this practice. I felt silly listing things. I was scare what would people think if they knew. Then someone once had me list out some of the most difficult times and situations I faced in my life. Then she had me trace out what happened in my life as a result of these things. What I saw was some of the greatest gifts in my life never would have happened if it were not for the difficult times in my life. So it is important to include “good” and “bad” in my gratitude list.
This practice became even harder and more important a year and a half years ago when I was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was kind of a walk your talk experience. I had so much to be grateful for, including my wonderful family and my friends who seemed to move mountains for me. Cancer let me or forced me to accept the love and support of those around me. A year and a half since my surgery I am still overwhelmed by the love and support I received. I am also grateful to have been given the opportunity to decide and prioritized my life. Life finds a way and I am VERY lucky and grateful to have made it through that experience. And looking back the very things I have now I can trace back to the experience of cancer.
This practice and it is a practice, a muscle I have to use to appreciate, lets me see and feel forgiveness, love and appreciation. It also gives me a wonder about how things work out as they do AND a knowing that things always work out.