Giving Thanks for the Unexpected

Giving Thanks

On the new blog, I have decided to try my hand at monthly themes. I’ve always loved a good theme. Food themes. Party themes. Now: Blog Themes.

As this is November and it is the month of THANKS-GIVING, I find myself reflecting on all of the things in my life for which I am grateful.  So, I’ll be leading off with GRATITUDE as my theme for the remainder of the month.

Prior to having cancer, I found that it was “easy” to be grateful for my health, family, friends, and my life in general.  However, after a cancer diagnosis, gratitude takes on a whole new meaning. One of the Silver Linings of my cancer diagnosis, horrendous treatment and exceptionally brutal treatment was the ability to find gratitude where I least expected it.

Recently, I came across a beautiful blog post by Belinda Munoz describing the way in which she finds gratitude in the unexpected.  This is so beautiful and offers so many Silver Linings!  So, come on, let’s be grateful – together!

  1. for our shortcomings, so that we may learn to look to others who can offer to integrate an extension to our limitations.
  2. for friction in our relationships, so that we may give them the attention they deserve so as to add fullness and depth to present and future interactions.
  3. for confusion, so that enlightenment may grace us if only fleetingly.
  4. for insecurities, so that we may move past pretending and arrive at the truth that we share many and instead of hiding them, perhaps we may one day celebrate them. (Visit Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s blog Ivy League Insecurities for a healthy, always-honest and well-written perspective on insecurities.)
  5. for doubts, so that we may either learn to live with them or conquer them by believing when proof evades us.
  6. for fears, so that we may acknowledge the falseness and irrationality in them in order to recognize what tremendously good things lie beyond them.  (Read Patty Bechtold’s wise words regarding fear on her blogWhy Not Start Now?)
  7. for challenges that make us doubt ourselves and our abilities, so that we may see what tough material we’re made of.
  8. for the flaws in all of us, so that we may revel in our blemished wholeness.
  9. for anxieties, so that we may do what’s worth doing with care.
  10. for problems that sometimes make being alive difficult, so that we may remember that there’s always a solution around the corner to make living worth every second.
  11. for the sadness that may land upon us occasionally, so that we may value the highs of life by fully feeling the lows.
  12. for our constant need to seek meaning, so that we may look beneath the surface, perhaps dig a little deeper or be open to finding it (or it finding us) where we least expect it.
  13. for our bodies that fall ill at times, so that we may value and live each hour and each day fully with a gentle reminder of our mortality.
  14. for the many mistakes we’ve made and will make, so that we may honor our humility.
  15. for regrets we do or don’t acknowledge, so that we may be moved to act, no matter how late or how seemingly futile, on our good intentions.
  16. for our broken bonds, so that we may appreciate that the fragility or sturdiness of our bonds have much to do with our willingness to participate, to get involved, to take responsibility.
  17. for our individuality and seeming insignificant at times, that we may come to know that collectively, we’re powerful and that each of us possesses the ability to make a significant difference.
  18. for feeling powerless, so that we may learn the importance of needing each other to do our part.
  19. for the dichotomies that sometimes split us apart, so that we are reminded of a) our precious gift of freedom to choose b) of the possibilities for choosing responsibly c) and choosing positivity and d) for the right we’ll never earn to judge others for their choice.
  20. for the measurable and hair-splitting differences in our philosophies and politics, so that we may remember that we are all bound by our humanity and by many common noble and respectable goals, needs and desires.
  21. for the kitchen sink that life may throw at us, so that we may feel fully alive as we fumble, bumble and stumble through trial by fire.

Have you found gratitude in any unique places?  I’d love to hear about it!

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