Some Things That I Love
“A miracle is not defined by an event. A miracle is defined by gratitude.” (Here If You Need Me, p. 181)
After my mom died and three short weeks later my daughter got sick, I had a hard time remembering the concept of gratitude. Fear and anger obscured the abundance still present in my life, and I resented anyone who told me to look beneath the surface to find a positive in our situation. I was convinced there was none. Part of my journey over the last couple of years has been to cultivate a practice that reminds me to see that beauty resides not only in peace, but also in adversity. It might be true that one can’t exist without the other, I don’t know. What I do know is that without experiencing adversity, I would never have been able to appreciate my “ordinary” life the way I currently do.
I used to think the key to life was happiness. Then I realized happiness is as fleeting as any other emotion. I craved peace, safety, security, the peal of my daughter’s laughter ringing from her room. I remembered the simplest things in life really are the biggest rewards and bring with them the most joy.
Gratitude grows with practice and patience. I’m dedicating this spot to share the events, people, places and things—big and small—that bring me peace, joy, and love. And yes, gratitude.
Leave a comment and let me know: What are you grateful for?
I am grateful for many things. It's hard to know where to start, but let me begin by saying this list is not in any particular order! My husband, my son, my daughter, my father, written stories my mother left about my family, my health, my friends, the lifestyle my husband works so hard to provide, and my two cats. These all bring me comfort and joy.
I firmly believe that the key to happiness is being grateful. When I am grateful, I appreciate what I have instead of looking at what I don't have. Taking comfort in what I have has caused me to want less than I used to. What I once thought would make me happy if I obtained it was actually causing me to feel like I didn't have enough already. All that time, when I was "wanting", I had enough. I just didn't realize it. That attitude took away from the happiness I could have had.
Tracey, I agree with you on how the contrast between peace and adversity allows us to appreciate the ordinary. If anyone has a tough day, I'm pretty sure most of us would choose to have an ordinary one the next day, if we could. Some people thrive on drama, good or bad. That's not me. Ordinary is good. It means nothing awful is happening. Not that I think of ordinary days in that sense all the time. But after going through hard times, ordinary feels good.
Finding beauty in adversity… that's a hard one. But I believe that adversity makes a person stronger, more sympathetic and empathetic. That's a positive outcome of adversity. And if through those experiences we come out stronger and can help others, maybe that's a miracle.
I am grateful for learning from the past, being in the present, and looking toward the future.
Thank you Wendy! A great reminder for all of us xo