Tag Archives: grateful

january 1, 2015

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I spent the first morning of 2015 handing out socks, water and cookies with Brian. We met a man named Jesse who broke my heart open. Jesse was sitting on 6th Street in a box facing the sun on a day when the warmth was needed. Jesse is fighting diabetes with full blown aids. His wish is to not be in pain every day. It’s been nine years since he had a day without it.

As we drove down the streets filled with pigeons and lined with homes built from trash, I knew that there was no other way to start the year.

It is so easy to compare, so natural to have expectations. Instead of contemplating which movie I would see this weekend I thought of this country and how it could allow this. How can so many be on the street, be in pain with no medical care because they get dropped from the system…It’s sickening. These people are no different than anyone else. Some are there because of illness, some were heroes. Some are there due to circumstance and fear of limitations. Yes, some by choice….but those are the exception.

If we all could take a minute….just one day….just to give. It took ten dollars and 90 minutes to give. Even if what you do is say a prayer instead of roll up your window the next time you seem a person less fortunate, that is enough. It all starts with a seed of hope. Everyone can find something to be grateful for, as I heard today on the streets. Take this year to love and appreciate. If nothing else, be grateful and know that you are blessed.

I wish you all everything you dream of.

 

 

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gratitude

Thank you Facebook for finally catching on. I was over posts of food pictures the first time I saw one. I’d much prefer the use of media to be positive. Perhaps if we all focused on posting things that are of substance, we might actually be the change we want to see in the world. Instead of hitting on people you knew ten years ago or sharing the horrors, we can collectively share some joy.

I suppose I shouldn’t be so surprised that social media would take a hot minute to catch on to the happy posts. It took me years to learn that expressing gratitude can make such a huge difference in me, my life and the world.

Did I always have things to be grateful for? Sure did.

Was I happy? Yes.

Did I always express them? No.

My prayers were always a laundry list of wants. Every day was like a wish list. (I didn’t actually pray every day.) Then there were the bargaining prayers: God if you give me ______ I will never ______. Or I’ll change this if you ________(fill in the blank).

What was I thinking?

I was thinking I was 17 and I wanted a BMW. That’s what. I wondered why I still felt empty inside. I’m grateful today for my awareness—I’m grateful for much than I can type in 900 words.

Trying to find something to be grateful for every day is something I’ve found indispensable to me. I wonder what would happen if everyone did this every day?

Here’s what a daily list does for me…and I’ve been doing it for over 20 years.

It allows a shift in my perception. It allows me to see the good in things—and when I focus on the good how can I manifest the bad?

I suppose it could happen but since I’m not dabbling in black magic or conjuring demons I’m going to with it won’t.

My life isn’t perfect. It has it’s ups and downs…financial struggles…financial gains…matters of the heart happen…then don’t happen…then happen again. I have been through health issues, loss, and traumas.

I’ve been fortunate to overcome them.

I was a female Johnny Cash—I had the dress in black thing down. My life was four seconds away from becoming a bad country song. I was so negative; now, I see it in others. I see it in friend’s faces. I see it on my Facebook feed. I see the doubt, worry, concern. Some fears are realistic and need to be addressed but those aren’t the ones I mean. I’m talking about the tiny speck of a fear that can snowball out of control until you feel paralyzed.

I don’t like the snow. I don’t want to build a snow fort. And although I don’t have a fireplace, I do have heat and I’m thankful for that.

I still have fear, I still have doubts—believe me. Earlier today, I was forced to say an out loud, on the spot gratitude list while driving. (Yes, I was indeed talking to myself in the car like Suzy Banana Cakes.) The list allowed me to take a deep breath and stay away from that fucking snowball.

Ironically, this weekend will be the coldest we have had thus far.

Finding things to be grateful for every day has given me the gift of leaning towards faith—well, not every moment—but a really good part of the time. Every so often I need a tiny kick in the shin over to get me to cross that invisible line I’ve drawn between fear and faith. As I said, negative Nancy. Totally present and waiting for misery. That was my M.O.

I am able now, when something is removed from my life, to see a bit of the bigger picture. Instead of mourning or grieving that thing that was removed, I see hope and potential. I see opportunity. Sometimes this process involves meditation. Other times it involves chocolate and dancing alone in my living room with a paper towel roll as a microphone. (Don’t judge.)

At the end of it all, I get to see the universe pushing me to take a chance instead of wondering why I am being punished.

I am no spiritual leader—I’m just a woman trying to make it through this weird, crazy and blessed life. I battle every day with my demons. When I stay in gratitude, this bizzare phenomenon that I choose to call faith, the fight can be won.

I challenge you to find five things to be grateful for.

They don’t have to be huge. As I said, it’s about perspective. Post them here in the comments if you want—I’d honestly love to see a thread of pure appreciation. How cool would that be?

I’ll throw you five of mine, vulnerability and all:

I’m grateful that my father is cancer-free and that I get to be his daughter.

I’m grateful that I no longer live by my intentions.

I’m grateful that even on days that terrify me, I can still muster up some sort of faith.

I’m grateful that I have a place to share my experience…that every so often, I’m left a comment that my words have helped someone.

I’m grateful for my best friend; for her support, her strength, and for being there for me for the past 18 years.

My hope for you is that you find that comfort in thankfulness and live in that state of being as often as you can.


to my lover

tumblr_lj246hD0Lp1qbsy78o1_500This is my armor, that I will lay gently beside us as we wrap ourselves in egyptian cotton and keep each other warm.

This is my heart that wonders if it can be brave enough to come out and play with you. I have put it back together with duct tape and honey. It seems to be beating steadily. I promise to check it on a regular basis.

These are my lips that miss your touch; your hands that graze against my cheek like the first time an artist’s brush kisses the canvas.

This is my smile….the one that has been hidden away in the bottom drawer of my antique dresser. I’m not sure how you found it under all my crumpled t-shirts.

This is my ego that I am surrending to, just for tonight…..just long enough to type these words. I am tempted to surrender tomorrow as well.

These are the stars that I lay beneath in the cold for no other reason than I know that you are under them too.

Thank you for your arms that wrap around me your affections when indentations shadowed in type are not enough. Shamefully, I crave that more often than I will tell you. I fear that your touch will remain part of my dreams……my tainted rem sleep.

Thank you for kissing me in places that do not know shadows or light…the places where band-aids won’t stick. Thank you for seeing my body as beautiful and something to be cherished. Thank you for allowing me to know yours.

Thank you for your humour that envelops me…and your moves…your beautifully maniacal crazy moves.

You are as bold as I am brazen.

Thank you for your words that show me that there is still good out there, and for the ones that make me blush even when it makes my cheeks hurt. Thank you for making the silence comfortable.

Thank you for your patience and for your kindness that entices me and forbears my unease.

And although I have no void that needs to be filled with lawfully adoring stares, I am grateful for you.


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