Today is also the last day of this series of 3 Gratitudes. I hope, though, that you continue each day to think of at least 3 things you’re grateful for. Scientists have proven the immense physiological and psychological benefits of gratefulness and, of course, for centuries spiritual leaders have been telling us that being grateful is the right way to live life.
In keeping with my challenge this week, these are 3 gratitudes related to difficulties:
The difficulty: Yesterday we discovered another setback knotted up in the mess of our beloved family member’s finances. After a year of digging through the muck and mire, it’s very, very discouraging to still be finding surprises.
I am grateful I have a team of family members standing strong and helping me to stand strong during this continuing discovery and working-through-to-solutions process;
I am grateful for these heartbreaking difficulties because they’re teaching me that it’s possible to take the next tiny step, in spite of my overwhelming desire to run far, far away;
I am grateful that I’ve learned to lob myself softballs when looking for the tiny next step to take—find the little bit of action I can take that’s well within my capabilities, that’s easy for me to do.
Bonus gratitude: I am grateful for the deeper compassion I have developed through this process of caring for my loved one. I am much more attuned and sensitive to people who are vulnerable. I do what I can to help and protect them, including supporting agencies, organizations, and individuals who are also watching out for and protecting people who are very vulnerable.
Feel free to share in the comments below the difficulties for which you are grateful. Thank you!
If you think these posts will benefit loved ones, friends, and others you know, please feel free to share them! Thank you!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I’m excited for the Big Adventure awaiting us in 2021!
As I was driving to work this morning, I was thinking about this month of 30 Days of Gratitude. I realized that the vast majority of my gratitudes were all things that brought me joy and made me feel good in some way—peaceful, content, confident, valued….
Then I thought about the “bad” stuff—the obstacles, difficulties, and heartbreaks. I don’t think many of those—if any!—made it to my gratitude list…yet.
Okay. I’m going to challenge myself for the rest of this week—the remainder of 2020—to think about the difficulties and heartbreaks and other “bad” stuff that happened this year. I’ll view it from the lens of how each one of those events may have benefitted me—and then be grateful for that benefit.
Would you like to join me?
Here goes! These are my 3 gratitudes for today–difficulties that I’m grateful for:
I am grateful to have taken over the care of a beloved family member. It’s been a very difficult journey getting everything straightened out, but I’m grateful because now I know for sure our beloved relative is getting the care, the supplies, and the services that she needs. That all of her needs—including her financial affairs—are being handled with love and compassion;
I’m grateful that my family has come together to support me in taking care of our beloved family member. They have devoted countless hours of hard work in untangling the financial mess, thinking through the home maintenance issues with me and coming up with creative cost-effective fixes, and supporting me as I’ve dealt with attorneys, accountants, and other professionals;
I’m very grateful for the lessons learned from this whole experience: family really does come together in a time of trouble; there are professionals who will stand beside you and fight for what’s right for your loved one; many times my heart broke but that breaking made my heart able to be more compassionate and hold more loving kindness; I don’t have to “do it all”—others will help; I don’t have to have everything figured out and have answers for every possible permutation of a problem, I can let it unfold as it will and handle the issues as they come up; I can let go and step back and let others step forward and shine as they unleash their talents and expertise.
As much as we may want to stomp our foot and cry “Unfair!” when “bad stuff’ happens, we also have to admit that there is usually a silver lining. Are there difficulties you experienced this year that now in looking back you have come to recognize the gift they gave you? Feel free to share your gratitudes in the comments below. Thank you!
Please share this post with your friends and loved ones. Thank you!
I wish that today and all days, everyone you meet is blessed by you. Just by your twinkling eyes, your bright smile, your gentle touch, and by your sparkling presence. Thank you for letting these gifts overflow to bless those all around you! ~paraphrased from Brother David Steindl-Rast’s writings
As we look ahead to the upcoming week, we may be nervous about the difficulties we’ll be facing. This can leave us feeling unsure of ourselves and that we’re on shaky ground. This can leave us vulnerable to others’ opinions and judgments about us: that we’re wrong or not right, that we don’t have what it takes, that who we are is not good enough.
None of this is true!
But when these false statements are getting to each of us, SAY THESE STATEMENTS THAT ARE THE TRUTH ABOUT EACH OF US:
I am One with Source
I am blessed
I am sanctified
I am anointed
I am consecrated
I am favored
I am holy
I am sacred
I am redeemed
I am forgiven
I cherish myself because I am One with Source who infuses and envelops me with Mercy
I cherish myself because I am One with Source who infuses and envelops me with Grace
I honor myself because I am One with Source who reveres me
I honor myself because I am One with Source who venerates me
Source has ordained me to be who I am and has declared me to be Good
Source has appointed me to be me and has proclaimed that I am Holy
Source has decreed that I am Sanctified
Source is pleased with me
Source is delighted with me
I am One with Source
Say these statements to yourself as often as you need to this week. Feel free to tweak them so they resonate more deeply with you.
As we craft soul-prospering lives for ourselves, we can go through challenging times, especially if we’re making seemingly drastic shifts and big changes. It can be very frightening to be out of our comfort zone. We can feel very alone and isolated.
Friends and loved ones to the rescue!
They hold our hand when we need it. They encourage us when we need a boost. They pick us up and dust us off when we fall. They cheer for us and celebrate us even when there seems to be no finish line in sight.
They like us and love us just the way we are.
Each one of our friends and loved ones adds a little something unique and special to our lives that without it, our lives would be so very different and diminished.
When someone mentions the word “bullying”, we think of the schoolyard, assuming that bullying is a problem only children face. We believe that when kids grow into adulthood, they drop their childish ways: We think they’ll become more understanding and compassionate, that they’ll develop mastery over their emotions, that they’ll learn to be helpful to others, and that they’ll strive to become the best version of themselves. This is the course we’ve followed and we figure that everyone else will, too.
But they don’t.
Some adult bullies carry their bullying ways from childhood into adulthood. Others were nice as youngsters but something happened along their pathway to adulthood that turned them into bullies.
The point is that bullying is not a problem just for children. We adults can—and do—face it every day, too. We can encounter adult bullies in a variety of settings such as clubs and organizations, churches, neighborhoods, within our group of friends, and at work.
We don’t foresee this, which is why it’s so shocking when we run up against it. We expect adults to behave like, well, adults. We don’t anticipate that they’ll humiliate, belittle, or sabotage us or that we’ll see them do this to others. When we experience bullying directly or indirectly (witnessing another being bullied), we’re left bewildered, stunned, and wondering if what we just experienced/witnessed really did happen.
I believe each one of us is on this Earth for a specific reason and that reason is to live a soul-prospering life. When we do this, we’re contributing our unique combination of gifts, abilities, and talents to the overarching goal of creating a better world. In the process, we get to live a deeply satisfying and fulfilling life that matters profoundly.
With this in mind, I’d like to share what I’m doing to live my soul-prospering life. Since I’m the author of this blog, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I like to write. Here is a flash fiction story that I wrote this summer. Flash fiction is a short story of 500 words or less, although some people say the upper limit is 1000 words.
A special treat for you is that this story is part of a blog hop. At the end you’ll see links to others’ flash fiction stories. This is my first time participating and I’m very excited about it.
My story is 493 words and is called Black Moon. I hope you enjoy it-enjoy the other stories as well!
Mama turned from the front window of our snug cottage hidden in the dark woods. Even though the lights were out, the star glow was enough to show me her worried face. “A Black Moon on All Hallow’s Eve. I thought surely you’d– ”
“What, Mama? Whatever it is, I’ll do it.” I didn’t know what was upsetting her but I wanted to make her smile. “It’s still my birthday. We can be happy about that, right?”
“Of course, my love! The second New Moon in a month combined with your thirteenth birthday on All Hallow’s Eve. A very special night, indeed.” Mama hugged me, her fuzzy sweater tickling my nose.
Rustling in the woods drew her to the window.
Oh! A sharp twinge in my hips. I waited for pain but it didn’t come. Instead, it felt…natural.
A sudden rush of raw power from Mother Earth coursed through me from my feet to my head. What was going on?
Rather than fear, giddiness filled me. I bounded to Mama and threw my arms around her. “I lovelovelove the night!”
Mama laughed. “That’s because you’re a vampire.” She growled, pretending to nibble my neck.
“No, Mama.” I giggled. “Then I couldn’t eat your yummy meatloaf, so full of garlic.”
“Hmmm, true.” Mama pretended to think. “I know! You’re really a pixie or a wood sprite, and you fly like the wind.”
“Nope, not it.” I moved from her embrace and rolled my shoulders to ease the cramping. “Flying isn’t the only way to race like the wind.”
“Then you’re a zombie.” She lumbered toward me, arms outstretched.
I shrieked. “No, Mama!” The bones in my feet crackled as I dashed away from her.
“Then you’re a fairy or maybe an elf.”
“They’re too small and scrawny and won’t make decent toothpicks much less tasty tidbits.”
“Well then, that leaves one thing. You’re a–”
Yips and barks close to our cottage.
“Oh no!” She let out a cry of fear.
My gaze sharpened on her. She looked delicate as she backed away from the window.
A howl echoed on the still night air. My pulse quickened. My bones ached, muscles throbbed. It felt so good! I stretched in anticipation.
She blindly reached back for me. “Hide! Wolves!”
Yes Mama, yes. That’s it!
I snapped my jaws now filled with gleaming teeth. I crept toward her, reveling in the power of my new form.
She saw me. Surprise on her face.
I inhaled. Ahhh, the sharp tang of fear. My mouth watered. I moved in.
A hard thump at the door followed by a rumbling growl that shook my bones. I stopped, crouched. Uncertain.
She dropped to her knees, relief flooding her face. Now on her hands, too. Broadening, elongating.
Now I was surprised.
She padded to me, her claws clicking on the hardwood floor. “Welcome, Pup!” She nuzzled me, her soft fur tickling my nose. “Come, meet your true family.”
Happy Halloween, my dear Pep Pals! Feel free to share in the comments what you do that’s soul-prospering. Thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Here are the links to the other stories in this blog hop. Have fun reading!