How cool is it that we Americans get to have 1 major holiday every month for 4 months straight, and if you count Valentine’s Day, that’s 5! After living in Maui for a year, which was very cool don’t get me wrong, I have much love and appreciation for the changing seasons I once took for granted. Even the cold and EVEN the Portland rain (wha?!!). I do. It gives me reason to pull out scarves and bake like no other and snuggle up with my Little One at home when the day gets too rainy or bleak to go out. I wasn’t always this way and still have my days. Maui was a tough year for us — I might just write that story one day — it changed me forever and gave me perspective I desperately needed. It is easy to get caught up in the things we don’t need, but want, or the way we think things are supposed to be, but aren’t, and it can rob us of our very breath. This IT you ask? Discontentment. I have had my fair share of struggle with this and still do and probably always will. Dumb things like, ‘My kitchen is too small, my clothes are too old, my house isn’t exactly the way I want it,’ etc. There are not-so-dumb things, too, bigger things that matter that haven’t gone the way I’d hoped. This is life. It is beautiful and it is messy. But, if I really go there and pitch a fit about how it didn’t go my way and shake my fist, I can be taken under like a Maui wave on a windy day, barely able to catch my breath. Discontentment. Ungratefulness. Not fully living in the now. The ‘not-good-enough’ mentality will always drown us in one way or another. This includes the thinking that we ourselves aren’t good enough. But, the things is, we are and all that the day brings, even in times of struggle. When in doubt that you are enough and that what you have is sufficient, speak out loud all of the things you are grateful for, it’s the only cure. I mean it, there was a time, many times actually, in my life when all I could say is thank you God for the air I breathe, for the sun that shines, for the limbs that move and even for the pain I face and that was enough for that day. ‘The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live…He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.’ Everything. I am slowly learning to befriend this entity called gratitude. She may just have a permanent invitation to come over and stay awhile. Perhaps she’ll curl up right next to us this holiday season, mug of hot chocolate and all.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. – Melody Beattie
What have you been taking for granted that you need to trade in for gratitude?
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