the power and beauty of gratitude

Yesterday evening, during “Meditation Thursday” as I now like to call it, we focused our energy and attention on the simple things in our life that we should be grateful for.  We began our practice by writing down, purely for ourselves, five things that we were grateful for on that day.  It’s a simple, but mind provoking task, that forces you to push out the bad and hone in on the positive experiences of your day.  It really motivated me to look for the good in a day that I otherwise would have categorized as a bust (yesterday was a tough one).

The script that Nancy read provoked us listeners to look at, and appreciate, the amazingness of the simple every-day functions our bodies perform. From just being able to move my fingers to type, to another example of using my noise to smell the ocean, I was reminded that my body does extraordinary tasks at every moment of the day.  It is in fact me who chooses not to notice or celebrate them.

I have learned ALOT about myself over the past year and one thing in particular I’ve become familiar with is that I tend to only validate the extremes in my life, especially in terms of my body.  For me it simply isn’t good enough that my knee bends allowing me to walk whenever I desire, but my knee is only worth celebrating if it allows me to run 5 miles without hurting. Throughout the meditation I found myself thinking about all the horrible and destructive things I am doing to my body by having this disease, and I kept having to remind myself that my body has done nothing to ever hurt me.  My organs, muscles, bones, etc. never did anything to deserve to suffer like they have just because I was unhappy with my physical appearance. I understand now that I need to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and reassess what I value most about my body. Honestly what matters more the amazingness of my inner self or the superficialness of my physical presence? I think the answer is an easy one, but the work to get myself to truly believing, and accepting, that is hard and is going to be a constant effort on my part.  But I must persevere because it would be worthless to live a life where I couldn’t be grateful for the small things. It’s the appreciation for SO MANY minor things in your day that can trump the one awful thing weighing you down…you just need to know to look for them. So remember to always:

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