Sometimes life can feel so oppressive that even taking a breath can feel difficult. Sorrow and pain consumes us on all sides so rapidly that it seems that it is all we have ever known and there is no end in sight. It is at those times when even a small problem becomes too heavy for us to bear; a small problem becomes the exact thing that “breaks” us. Our burden, we think, is too heavy.
During those times, since I can not make sense of what is going on at the moment, I have to look at something other than my problem to find serenity. I can get lost in my problems; consumed by them as sure as a fire consumes the oxygen that we breathe. I can get so lost in my difficulties that I can’t see anything except “poor me” or “why is this happening to the people I love?” It is in those times of desperation that I have to look at the things that I am grateful I have; however difficult it may be to find them at that moment. Today, I need to look for those things I have forgotten to be grateful for.
First, I am eternally grateful that I have a God who loves me despite of myself. My Higher Power does not fit into a box but is universally encompassing. When I turn to Him for comfort, He is there. When I tell Him that I hate him, He understands that too because He knows my heart is screaming out from pain. When I turn to Him and apologize for my words, He takes me in His arms and comforts me without resentment.
There are so many other things that I sometimes forget to be grateful for. I am grateful that my eyes can see. I am able to look at my children and see them in all their glory. I am able to look out my window and see the change in the seasons. I am able to see the colors of the rainbow when it appears high in the sky. I am so grateful that I have the vision to experience all these things and so much more.
I am grateful that my skin has felt the soft kiss of a loved one, the wind as it whirls around me, the cold of a snowflake as it lands on my nose, the water of the shower as it sprays down on me, the slippery sensation as soap glides across my skin. I am grateful that I have the proprioceptors to experience all these things and so much more.
I am grateful for the scar on my chest that tells the story that I have had two heart attacks and open heart surgery and have lived to tell the tale. I am grateful that others have seen that scar and have told me it is my “beauty mark” that God has given me. I am so grateful that I have had this experience because it reminds me that life is fleeting and I need to live each day fully.
I am grateful that I have hands that have held my newborn children. I am grateful that my fingers have felt the warm tears of those I love as I wiped them from their eyes. I am grateful that I still get a chill when my husband takes my hand in his and walks down the street with me. I am grateful that these hands have performed CPR on people who have survived and I am also grateful that these hands have held the hands of others while they took their last breath. I am grateful for these hands have experienced all these things and so much more.
I am grateful for my sense of smell that has experienced the scent of a rose, the smell of a newborn, the clean smell of the air just before a summer rain. I am grateful for my sense of smell because it has warned me of potential danger from smoke and fire. I am grateful for my sense of smell because it has allowed me to experience all these things and so much more.
I am grateful of my sense of hearing because it has more than one time made my heart leap with joy as I listened to my children laugh. I am grateful for my sense of hearing because it allows me to listen to barking dogs, birds singing, the ocean waves, the soft sound of rain as it falls as well as the thunder. I am grateful for my sense of hearing for these experiences and so much more.
I am grateful for all the people who have helped shape my life: my husband who has taught me about forgiveness, kindness, mercy and love; my children who have taught me unconditional love, patience, as well as to give without wanting anything in return; my family who accepts me despite myself and my few friends who keep me in check and tell me the truth no matter how painful that truth may be. I am grateful for those who have hurt me and hurt those I love because they have given me life lessons which makes me try my best not to hurt others. I am grateful for all these people and so many more.
I am grateful that life is dynamic; neither the good nor the bad last forever.
I am grateful that I can breathe.