Every morning starts out relatively the same for me: achy joints, jumping heart rates, nausea, low blood sugars- the list goes on. Then there are those other mornings, the ones that feel like death is upon you. I am sure you know what I am talking about. On days like that I have trouble being grateful for anything, and it’s so easy to throw myself a pity party.
After I had everything happen in 2014, I felt I had nothing to be thankful for. I wanted to be dead and not suffering anymore, but thankfully that was not God’s plan for my life. During this period where I felt broken and hopeless my psychologist gave me a challenge: to find three things everyday that I was grateful for. This was not going to be an easy task and I became determined to not find anything to be grateful for. During this time period (which was about 6 months) the exact opposite started happening. I started being grateful for the sun shining through the trees, that I could stand up while I brushed my teeth, for the rain our garden needed, that I had a supportive family, for the adorable dog I had to keep me company, and especially that I had Jared, my boyfriend at the time, who was staying by my side when I wanted to end our relationship and be just friends. Everyday I would write down seemingly meaningless gratitudes that eventually started slowly turning my perspective around and becoming meaningful.
Now it is apart of my daily routine.
This tree is one of my favorite things. Everyday from my desk, this is my view. I become truly inspired everyday, and something about this tree ends up on my gratitude list each day. Some days my gratitude list includes big things like answered prayers, cooking a meal myself, and occasionally what I consider miracles. Then on other days my gratitude list is full of little things like getting out of bed, washing my face, and even getting dressed by myself.
Even though I am far from the depressed state I once was in, it is not hard to find reasons to throw myself a pity party. Our lives are full of brokenness and restlessness- with or without a chronic illness, but for those of us that are fighting for our lives, these emotions are typically easy to come by.
I do not want you to think this a “positivity prescription” post or that I believe that all of our problems will fade by acknowledging a few things we are grateful for. I do believe that it helps us see little victories we might have overlooked, and I believe it can encourage hopefulness. It does not matter what you are thankful for, it just matters that you have something to be thankful for. On some of my darkest days it was good to have a couple small things to cling onto. Today I am thankful for the deer that showed up under my favorite tree, the long talks I have with my grandmother, and for each of you spending your afternoon with me!
What three things are you thankful for today?