Friday, February 26, 2010

Some Thoughts on Being Thankful

I recently made an impromptu list of reasons to be happy (Twenty Reasons to be Happy Right Now). Some of the things I included on that list are things that I am extremely grateful for.

There are times when, I have to admit, I forget how important it is to be thankful. I have those moments when I'm too busy feeling down about things that aren't going that great. But then I bounce back and remind myself that I really do have a lot to be grateful for.

For instance, I might find myself feeling frustrated that I am moving slowly, and no matter what I do, I can't get my body to go any faster. But I know that I really am grateful that I am still on my feet - at least in the physical sense.

When things aren't going the way we'd like, it's easy to fall into a trap of feeling sorry for ourselves. Bad stuff happens and we're ready to throw on a "Life Sucks" t-shirt.

But we know that it really doesn't. No matter what fresh problem life is serving up, there will always be things we can be thankful for. Sometimes you just have to stop and take stock of the things in your life that are good, maybe make a list of all the things that make you feel grateful, like:

The people in your life. The people closest to us, our family and friends, usually top the list. We all have people for whom we can be thankful - people who have touched our lives, made a positive impact. Anyone we know who enriches our lives in some way. For me, my doctor and the nurses who do my treatments are among the people for whom I am most thankful.

Events and Opportunities. Life is full of events to be thankful for. You get the job, you make the team, you meet "the one". Anything good that has happened for us certainly makes the gratitude list. There are always things we can think of that we've been able to do, opportunities we've been fortunate to have, like traveling to a foreign country or going to college, that we can feel grateful for.

Looking around, you can find lots of little things to be thankful for every day. It finally stopped snowing (I can't use that one right now!), gas prices have dropped. Sometimes we can just feel grateful that something good has happened, or things have worked out, either for ourselves or someone else.

What we have. Belongings aren't the most important thing of course, but we can still be grateful for them. Sometimes we take things for granted, or we get caught up in the competition of who has the most or the best toys, instead of being appreciative of the things we have.

Being grateful for what I have for me now includes my physical abilities. When you have MS, you really learn to appreciate being able to do things, especially when some abilities have been lost.

Just getting in touch with your gratitude for all the good things in life can really help you maintain a positive attitude and see good possibilities for the future.

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