Monday, December 8, 2014

All-encompassing gratitude

Last month when I spent Thanksgiving with my youngest son and his family, I was so aware of all my blessings. My heart was full, and I was grateful for so much.

As I counted my blessings, though, I was also aware of those painful and difficult times in my life. Those are the times I really grew. It seems I have learned far more from life's challenges than from life's good times and blessings. And so I gave thanks for those, too.

I don't know about you. But when I experienced the difficult times, whether it was my divorce or losing my job or some lesser challenge, I wasn't always thinking about gratitude and how much I'd learn! It's later when I reflected on what had changed in me because of those things that I was able to give thanks. My obstacles really became my teachers, giving me learnings I would not have had otherwise.

I have heard people who have survived cancer and other difficult health issues say that they are grateful for the illnesses because their lives have been totally changed for the better by the experiences. That always amazes me. And yet when I reflect on my own life, I know that my most difficult times have made me softer yet stronger, more compassionate and more understanding of others, and far more resilient. In short, I've become a far better Sonia because of those tough experiences. So I give thanks for those, too. Without them, I wouldn't be who I am today.

How about you?

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