Have you ever sat still for a time and thought about all the ways you’ve been blessed in this life?
I do this quite a bit- mostly in the shower, or at night when my mind is winding down for sleep, when the world around me is tuned out and I’m left with nothing but my own thoughts.
When I think about how my life has constantly provided me with everything I needed in the moment, I’m always left in awe. I am here today, in this moment, because of each and every bump and bruise I gained on the journey to right now. Every single time I didn’t think I’d make it, life provided a way and I survived.
And, boy, does it feels good to be sitting here- drinking my tea, as words appear on the screen at the touch of my finger tips- talking to you with a heart full of such joy that at times I feel I’ll burst with it.
I wanted my first post back, after a much longer than expected hiatus, to be one that reflected how I feel and how grateful I am to be here.
Every morning, before I roll out of bed, I give a silent little prayer of thanks. I’ve done this in secret for almost as long as I’ve known my husband. As embarrassing as it is to admit, it started the morning after he’d told me he loved me the first time. Back then it wasn’t so much a prayer of gratitude, but a plea- I didn’t want this man, who’d already changed my life so profoundly, to realize I was imperfect and leave.
It makes me smile now, because the idea that he didn’t already know I was flawed by then is ridiculous, but in that moment, it was such a powerful gift he’d given me that I knew if I lost it I’d never be the same. When he said those three little words, every bit of pain I’d lived through before we’d been brought together suddenly paled in comparison. He’ll never know it, but loving me in the selfless way he has all these years is what allowed me to start healing from all that pain. The next morning, when I woke next to him, wrapped in his arms and completely safe, I looked up at the ceiling and said: “please let me keep this”.
It’s been 13 years this year, and though our relationship has had some huge hurdles to overcome, we’ve made it. Together. Bruised, battered, and a bit worse for wear, we’re stronger now and I’m so grateful for it. We’ve been told that we find each other in each life, as we’re bound to one another in a way that few are- and I’m inclined to believe it so. We’re best friends, but more than that, we’re soul mates in the most meaningful of ways.
As we grew older, and we became parents with grown-up goals, my little prayer changed. My son’s birth was a time for both of us that something shifted; without expressing it verbally, we both somehow knew that we’d been given something absolutely precious that meant more than the very breath in our bodies. That night, as I drifted off to sleep in that hospital bed with our precious newborn in my arms, and my husband holding me, I looked up at the ceiling and said: “thank you for everything that led me to this moment”.
Over the years, that prayer has changed even more. As I’ve realized how fragile life is, with the loss of my father so suddenly and the traumatic experience of my son’s first Grand Mal seizure, I’ve come to appreciate every single moment I get to be with the people who give my life meaning.
These days my prayer of gratitude isn’t poetic or flowery, but neither is it selfish- as I’ve come to know that I cannot hold on to what isn’t mine to keep- even if it means life itself. Every morning, before my feet touch the ground, I look up toward the ceiling and say: “I am grateful for my family, our health, and the happiness we share every day. I am honored to have this day with them, and if I should not see another morning, I only ask that they always know how much I love them.”
My goal every day is just that- to shower my family with love. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I go to bed hoping that I get another chance because I didn’t do so well that day. But, no matter how imperfect my life is, or I am, I always make sure to take those moments to be grateful for all the little things that went right:
My home remained standing. Each of us is healthy. We are sheltered, our water is clean, and our bellies are never empty. We have an abundance of material and financial gifts, bodies that are capable of being active, brains that are capable of learning, and hearts that continue bringing us life. We are surrounded by good people and we are never wanting for anything.
Today, I wanted to take a moment to also give thanks for you. Not just the you reading this blog, or the you who’s been patient with me while I transitioned toward a better self, but the you you were before this moment. I am grateful that all those bumps and bruises you gained, all that pain you suffered, all those damaging moments you lived through, have brought you here- because that means even if you’re broken and a bit worse for the wear, you’ve survived. You are here, in this moment with me, because of those things- and I only ask that you know how much I love you. Flaws and all.
Thank you for waiting for me, and allowing me the time I needed to heal what I could no longer heal on my own. Thank you for allowing me to adjust as I learn who I am again, and what it means to feel things I’m not used to feeling. Thank you for the well wishes, good vibes, and prayers of love- I felt them all, and I believe they’re just as powerfully effective as the medicine that has altered the chemical composition of my brain.
So, right now, if I may, I’d like to send up a little prayer of gratitude for you. Would that be okay?
I am grateful for you, your health, and the happiness I wish for you every day. I am honored to have this moment with you, and if I should not see another, I only hope that your life is filled with as much love as you deserve.
And you deserve it all.
Thank you for being you.
Until next time, my friends…