I’m still reeling from the incredibly inspirational interview with Jeni Stepanek last week. I feel drawn to continue a bit longer with this and hone in on one of Mattie’s poignant and wise- beyond- his years, comment.
“If you have enough breath to complain about anything, you have more than enough reason to give thanks about something.” Mattie Stepanek
If this powerful concept, stated from the mouth of a 10 year old, isn’t enough to make us take stock of all that we have to be thankful for, then we really need to shake ourselves up, take off those dark glasses and clear away those crotchety cobwebs so we can see where the light is shining. We can then begin to illuminate for ourselves the good in our lives.
We can always benefit from a reminder of being grateful and appreciative for what’s going right in our lives. Even when things all seem to be going wrong.
As a coping mechanism, it’s especially important to be able to see even the tiniest particle of light when all the lights seem like they were shut off. We have to be able to hang on to something. Sometimes that something is a hint of sun pushing through the clouds.
When my middle daughter, Nava, was hospitalized, in a coma on a ventilator, and darkness engulfed me, I remember saying a couple of ‘At Leasts’. “At least she’s in a great hospital; at least she’s got great doctors; (And that was just by chance; we didn’t get the opportunity to seek out the best doctors.) At that time, that was my version of being thankful.
A couple of months later, when she was off the vent and I was able to feel and see a bit more clearly out of the crisis mode, I was able to get to the thankful part, a bit.
I became thankful for each baby step towards survival – from waking up, to moving a finger, to being trached, to finally moving on to a rehab hospital.
When I lived up in the rehab hospital with Nava, I was truly grateful that my younger daughter, Penina, got along with her step-father, Alan. It was just the two of them for months, at home together. It could’ve been a disaster, but it wasn’t. At least I had peace of mind on that front.
Finding some good points for which to be thankful, definitely helps one go through a tough time.
It’s all too easy to find the negative and the complaints. And we’re certainly all good at that. But to start to exercise our positive muscle so we use it more, let’s try some homework:
We can end our day by writing down three things we are thankful for, however small they might be.
Instead of complaining to a supervisor about the lousy service we got from an employee, why not call or write a note to the supervisor complimenting a good worker.
What thanks can you give when going through a rough time?
How can you exercise your ‘thankful’ muscle?
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