As I sit here in my “happy place” thinking about this Thanksgiving, I can name so many things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, most of which I am thankful for each & every day and I can name them all almost in a rhyming fashion on each & every Thanksgiving day… my family, my healthy child, my friends, my church, food, shelter, my animals, ….etc…etc …yes, I know it sounds so trivial but the bottom line is, it is so true!
Lately, I have not been so much fun to be around to say the least & I do realize this so I often avoid situations where I have to put on a “painted smile” to cover that I am not feeling well, my emotional pain, fears, &frustration with my health as often as I can… so unfortunately, my family & close friends sometimes feel the brunt of it & occasionally, they do get a dose of my “raw emotion”. Even though I make a good effort to hide it from them, this “health situation” does get the best of me from time to time and as we say in the south, “I can be as ill as a hornet”. With all that said, I really do try to remain positive & keep smiling because we all know that people really grow weary of hearing how bad you feel blah…blah…blah… and thank God, I have the most amazing set of friends & my family is the bomb so they haven’t kicked me to the curb yet & for this, I am so very thankful! Although, at times, if I am completely honest, we can really get on each other’s nerves but we love each other just the same & I am thankful for them all!!
Now, for Thanksgiving this year….
One of the many things that I am thankful for is “clarity”! Through this current life trial, God has given me clarity that I have never known before. I have had some time to reflect on many experiences in my life – most were wonderful but a few were very painful experiences some of them brutally painful. With this new found clarity, I have realized that I am actually thankful for each & every experience, good and bad whether it be… loss of a loved one, betrayal of friends & sometimes family members, financial burdens, sticking my foot in my mouth (yep, I am really good at that one), making poor choices that I had to pay the consequences for, & yes, even my failing health… yep, you read it correctly, I am THANKFUL for all of these things. Let’s face it, we have ALL experienced pain & life trials & in all honesty, if it were our choice, we probably would not have “chosen” that path but unfortunately, pain is necessary for growth. If we allow our circumstances to “define” us this can sometimes cause a lifetime of unhappiness but only IF we allow it to. I refuse to do that because as crazy as it sounds, I am thankful for each & every mistake I’ve made, all of the painful experiences even the brutally painful experiences because each and every one of these things have contributed to my growth & prepared me for the next blow because believe me when I tell you, there is always another blow coming whether it be an “upper cut” or a “left hook”, it’s coming & my friends, it WILL hurt & sometimes it may even knock you to your knees & maybe flat on your back but you must get back up & move forward & most importantly, learn from whatever circumstance just “rung your bell” & be a better person for it!!
I can be quite “hard headed” & at times have struggled with letting go of past betrayals & pain & yes, I have held grudges but I realize that in doing this I am causing myself undue pain so over the past several months I have made a conscious effort to “let it go” and to forgive & forget past betrayals/circumstances and have chosen to move forward because I now have this “clarity”, a precious gift that my savior has given me & my hope is that anyone who I have ever hurt will forgive me as well. I do believe that we must allow ourselves time to grieve when we go through life trials and pain because we are human. But, we cannot waste our days dwelling on them forever. So to the circumstances or persons that the following may apply, whether you’ve made me laugh or made me cry, encouraged me or discouraged me, fueled me or drained me, filled my heart with joy or angered me, led me or left me, helped me or hurt me, provided a swift kick in the butt when I deserved it or a shoulder when I needed it… you have contributed to my growth so THANK YOU!!
I am so very thankful for so many things, honestly, too many to count… mostly for the new friendships that I have developed & lifelong friends who have been there for me and with me and who have lifted me when they did not even realize it… the “small things” & the “big things”, the words of encouragement are priceless. I am thankful for the prayers from friends, family, & complete strangers (although, I have a whole new outlook on the term “complete stranger” because in my eyes, we are ALL brothers & sisters in Christ). In my opinion, this friendship, support, and prayer has given me the thing that I am most thankful for this year & that is “TIME”. I cherish it now more than ever and I really do take notice of each and every moment that I waste by having an occasional “pity party” or gossiping about things that are none of my business, or “sweating the small stuff” like a messy house or my kid sticking his dirty little fingers in my potato chip bag (although, I am still working on that one because for those of you who know me well, know that I am a “certified germaphobe”). I am more conscious of anything I do that is a waste of precious time. Now please realize, that I said I “take notice” … yes, I still sometimes “waste” time although, I am more embarrassed than ever to admit that I would waste an ounce of precious time but I am however, still a work in progress!
My only regret is that it took this life trial to accept this gift of clarity which I could have had a long time ago if I had simply taken the time to receive it but I was just too busy wasting precious time! You see, there I go again… I just have to keep reminding myself…”move forward Suzanne, do not look back with regret… because you know you will not be able to grow if you do not move forward & you can’t move forward if you keep looking back”.
Thank you God for these gifts, and for my friends & family who continue to lift me with their acts of love, prayers, & words of encouragement!!
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. ~Author Unknown