G is for Gratitude

Are you grateful? Usually people only think once a year what they are “thankful” for, but do you remind yourself to think of the things you are grateful for? I know that I don’t think of it everyday. There are a lot of things that I should be grateful for each day because I know it would be harder if I did not have them. Such as  waking up each morning, waking up next to Hubsy to be each morning, food to eat, all my limbs and my health, the love of a large and supportive family, strong ties to my siblings, beginning to make ties with my new family, the list could go on and on. It just is not a list that I think of each day. I should. So why do so many of us take the most basic things for granted each day?

Gratitude is sometimes the most overlooked sentiment in our society I believe. With everything at our fingertips these days, it is easy to forget how simple things are because of our technology. We forget to have gratitude for the basic requirements for survival, because we have them, it is expected. It is easy to overlook something, or even someone, that is always there and is expected to be. Not because it is a must, but because it or they have been. Yet have we stopped to think what it would be like if they were not there? Makes life a bit more bleak doesn’t it? Now imagine all those people living across the world who do not have the same things that we do, water, food. Two basic requirements for life, completely unavailable to others, while we toss out a ton of food, or over eat. I am willing to bet that if we were to cut back on the mass production of food for the fast food market, and ate only what we needed, we could feed the world. That is another topic completely, for another day.

So many people have life so much harder, more painful than any of us could imagine. Yet, because we are not faced with the same difficulties as others, we begin to take what we have for granted because we have always had it. We worry about our bodies, not being perfect, when we should be happy to have a fully functional and healthy body. We complain about not having the newest gadget, when we should remember that it is a luxury to have one in the first place. Life gets comfortable, we get complacent with the way things are, but once that comfort is shaken we feel as though it is the end of the world. It isn’t, not yet anyway.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” J.F.K.

 

F is for Forgiveness

Sometimes the hardest thing to do in life is to forgive. Whether we are forgiving family, friends, or ourself, it can be very challenging. Moving on, forging through life, things will happen, we all make mistakes. Sometimes small, sometimes huge, mistakes will happen to everyone. It is the challenge of forgiving and moving on that can either hold us back, or release us into our future. One of my favorite quotes that I have come across through the years about forgiveness:

I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one. —Henry Ward Beecher

True forgiveness is not easy. We must put aside our pride to achieve it, look through the anger and hurt, whether directed at someone or ourself, realize the flaws, accept, and move on. This can be the greatest challenge in any relationship. If we do not forgive, it will fester inside of us, turning us against those that we love, as well as against ourselves. Many people choose not to forgive out of fear, a solid, inescapable feeling of dread and insecurity which forces a person to cling to the anger and the grudge. This fear will not allow us to forgive, to set ourself, as much as the other person, free from being trapped into such misery. Are grudges worth that? Are they worth letting our lives be controlled by a mistake that someone made, holding us back from being happy? Another question to think about: Why do we want to stand in the way of our own happiness? Why would we hold ourself back in such a way?

Dont forget to forgive yourself too!

Moving through life we will always face obstacles, mistakes, wrong choices, people we don’t like, but these people should not hold us back from forgiving. Forgive yourself for having flaws and not being perfect.

Will you forgive yourself? To me, that is the hardest.