Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grateful Lists

grate·ful [greyt-fuhl] adjective 1. warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful

For far too many years of my life, perhaps all of them, I was definitly a glass half empty kind of girl. I found, noticed, and focused on things that were stressful, ugly, or harmful to me. From relationships to my very thoughts, I was in every way, simply ugly.

Depressed. Angry. Bitter. Yep, me in a nutshell!

I was so busy seeing, worrying about, crying over, being pissed off about everything that was wrong, that moment after moment the beautiful, precious, fun, wonderful things were missed.

It was about two years ago when I finally came to a place where I was simply exhausted of living that way. I sat in my car and asked God to please give me a new heart, to please help me get my mind right, to please help me be the woman He wants me to be.

It was by no means easy. There are still days when my fears, sadness, or anger try to come back in. However, they find a "no space available sign".

I have spent the last year being very specific about being thankful for what I have, or even the bad things that I do not have. It has truely changed my world.

Several months ago, I decided to make my grateful lists public. I decided to share the way I was choosing to see the world. Note, choosing. You have to choose to see different. You don't suddenly feel like the world is full of sunshine and loveliness. You choose to see the sun through the rain clouds.

I'll admit that when I first started it was painstaking for me. Most times I was posting what it was that I was thankful I DIDNT have. "I'm thankful I don't have herpes. or I'm thankful I wasn't eaten by wild dogs today."

In time though, I started getting to the end of my day and replaying those moments that made me feel good and peaceful and joyful. My list quickly moved to "Grace. My babies laughter. People who love me" and on and on.

Please know that during this time, I was getting divorced, I was struggling with something very awful that happened to me, I was grieving over things I may never be able to share with you. My circumstances were the same, if not worse. It wasn't that life got better and I got grateful. I was grateful and life kept coming.

You have the ability to set the pain standard in your life. You have the ability to decide how frustrated, angry, depressed, or whatever you are. There is no one saying "oh she got cut off in traffic, that's a 3" or "she lost her job, that's a 5" or "She was diagnosed with cancer, that's a 10". One of the most difficult things for me to accept is that I am in fact responsible for how I see the world and how I allow the bad things to affect me.

Now don't get it twisted, I am one crying woman. I am easily able to get sucked into ugly. BUT for the first time in my life, I quickly recognize it as ugly and run as far and as fast as I can away from it.

With those things gone, I am able to see the sun. I am able to live and laugh and play. I am able to have a grateful heart. A grateful heart is a happy one Ladies and Gentlefish and Mama is HAPPY!

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