When I retired, a lovely group of colleagues had this metal piece commissioned as a gift of gratefulness for the “lessons you unknowingly revealed in the face of some insurmountable odds at times.” It hangs in a prominent place as a gentle reminder of how hard some of these powerful lessons were in my journey…
You see, gratefulness is an all-out committed life practice and it’s cheating to be only be grateful for the good while shunning the bad. NONE of us want the bad things to happen, but we must meticulously seek the gratitude for the soul lessons inherently placed in our path on this life journey. We progress when we find ways to use the hardships of bad things and experiences to become more patient, more kind, more present, more fun, more loving…
As a personal testament, my physical self (my personal body) has a definite history of betrayal. From multiple abdominal and reproductive issues to years of cancer treatments, my body has repeatedly betrayed me with some bad issues. Doing everything right is no guarantee of complete health, thus I’ve learned to let go (AND let God) of my wanting it to be permanently better. I’m grateful for the good medical reports appearing at times, but more importantly, learning how much I can still contribute even when going through another health crisis makes my soul sing. The “blessing in disguise” of the bad thing may be invisible and not surface during the moment you expect, but it’s coming!
A former yoga teacher also taught me how to practice gratefulness for my body parts as I maneuver and meditate as a blessing for what each one can do in that moment; no wishing or hoping (or cussing out loud) for anything to be different. You’re probably rolling your eyes, but it works for me! She also pointedly commented to me one day, “Never question why the suffering comes for you; listen for what the suffering can teach you. Be willing to see the gift in each experience when it is revealed so you are stronger and better in this life.”
Here is what I unexpectedly know to be true: Gratitude and gratefulness, like interest, compounds. The daily practice of consistent and purposeful gratitude creates clear vision to pay closer attention and seek particular reasons to be grateful in the face of uncertainty. Attitude is mandatory and daily effort is non-negotiable on this journey.
Day #37: If you could design your own etched metal piece or mantra, what would you place upon it to gratefully speak your lessons?
May we all find our way to embracing the bad along with the good on the journey. Be a blessing and be blessed, my friends!