For me - walking in Gratitude first begins with the things that I no longer carry.
It begins with the broken childhood I had.
It begins with having a body that fails me in many ways.
It begins with many other hardships I have faced.
It begins with all of the mistakes I've made in my life.
It begins with the old, bad habits I've had to break.
It begins with persons I once was, and decided I no longer wanted to be.
All of these things that have gone wrong in my life and things I've had to walk away from - are the very things that allow me to root myself in Gratitude.
I'm grateful for all of these things I've formed with my life because I've seen the other side.
I know what it is to be abused by my parents, so I am grateful for the parent I've grown to be and the partner I have to parent with.
I know what it's like to feel very sick - so any moment I feel well and alive, I am so grateful.
I know what it is like to feel immense sadness in a way that leads to despair - so when I am vibrating with joy, I am grateful.
I know what it feels like to feel like the whole world is against me and that I will never catch a break - so when doors open, I am grateful.
I know what it feels like to be run so ragged that it feels like it is killing my soul - so when I take the time to be still and quiet, I am grateful.
I know what it feels like to be fooled - so when I encounter a genuine soul, I am grateful.
I know what it is to really fuck up - so when I can right my course and make amends, I am grateful.
But hard times will come again. Difficulties will arise once more. There are plenty more mistakes to be made. Pain will find me again, in both little and big ways.
And I will do my best to face it all with Gratitude, by realizing that this season too will pass - and it will leave its transformative lesson with me.
Because if I've learned anything in my life, it is that each new hardship will teach me something - something I don't know now that I've yet to learn. It will transform me in a way that not much else can. In fact, it might unlock my greatest potential.
Life is funny like that - just when you think you know everything or learned every lesson - wham! - a new one hits you.
And the choice I choose to make over and over again, is to be grateful, to be present. In this moment, even with all of its trouble and worry.
I choose to be grateful.
Grace and peace, friends,