Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Grateful Heart part 5

Even having a goal, I struggle with posting! However, I am here today, so that is good!

I have been thinking about how grateful I am for the experiences I have had in my life-especially the ones that are catalysts for growth. Some of the hardest times in life reap the greatest rewards, even though it may be years before we realize the growth, knowledge, and experience we have truly gained from the experience.

I think of a time I went through when I was 21. It was one of the hardest experiences I had had to that point in my life. I know that I learned things at that time that helped me, and I became a better person because of it. However, it wasn't until 5 years later that I realized the importance of the experience, and truly appreciated the growth I had, because of one experience I had when I was 26. I would not trade the experience I had at 21 for the one at 26.

I think it is a great blessing to recognize specific reasons for experiences we have had, and it is awesome when we recognize it more than once. Our experiences are generally not a one time learning experience. We get to take the knowledge and growth with us throughout life, and help us as we face difficult times, or as we help other people.

I am grateful for the processes, for growth spurts, and for the ability to recognize all of it, and to truly appreciate it all.

Friday, June 01, 2018

A Grateful Heart part 4

I have been thinking about how grateful I am for lessons learned through witnessing small moments of human interaction.

When people are conversing, connecting, or communing with each other, there is great power in observing their interactions. I absolutely love people watching. It is amazing to see people when they don't think others are paying attention or watching. Most of the time I learn positive things about others, and sometimes it's lessons of things I don't want to do or ways not to be.

It's interesting, because I made a note of an interaction from over a year ago, wanting to remember and share it when I had the chance, and here is that chance!

I was at church when two gentlemen caught my eye. One of them had lost his wife a number of months prior, and the other had very recently lost his wife. These men had been married to their wives for decades, and it was plain to see how much they had each loved their wife. The Sunday that stood out to me was a normal day, with the congregation gathering to worship. It caught my eye that these two men were sitting together, supporting each other, and sharing the burden of being widowed.

My heart ached for them, but also burned with the learning of the power of human connection and interaction. I don't think that there were any specific words shared, but the simple act of sitting together seemed to strengthen and buoy each of them. It was brotherhood in action and it was beautiful.

So, my gratitude for the day is the lessons learned, great and small, through observation of the human experience.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Grateful Heart part 3

Building a habit means being kind to yourself as you aren't perfect from the start. (Like missing a day here or there during this wellness gratitude challenge...)

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot over the last few days about the balance and give and take of strengths, optimism, and feelings in general that my husband and I have been feeling. Although we have been married for almost a year, I have been able to see this balance and trade-off a fair amount...and I am grateful for it! 

In trying to get a full-time, long term teaching job, there have been a lot of ups and downs for him. I am so grateful for his strength when I am frustrated, angry, confused, and impatient. He is my rock when I am feeling weak. I am also grateful that I can be his rock and remind him that we can get through things, that I am always in his corner, and that Heavenly Father is mindful of us. 

This is a difficult process to go through, and to see a spouse have to go through as well, and I am so grateful for the strength and comfort and support and hope that he has shown me until I am able to find it myself again, and return the strength. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Grateful Heart part 2

With yesterday being Memorial Day, it seems more than appropriate to focus on freedoms and opportunities I have because of the sacrifices of so many people.

The Arlington National Cemetery is one of my favorite places to go when I am in that area. I have been a few times, and have enjoyed it immensely every time. There is a special spirit and reverence there, in honoring the many men and women who have sacrificed so much, including their own lives, for the freedoms and opportunities we enjoy, and honestly sometimes take for granted.

I am able to express my opinions, I am able to worship who and how I want, I am able to direct my own path, and I am able to choose where I live. There are so many things that we do each day that are automatic and normal, that to some are a dream or something they have to fight for each day.

There are many people throughout the world who have fought for those freedoms, who we have honored and have noted their names. There are others who are unknown to us, but who are known to our Heavenly Father. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier honors those who are not known to us, but known to Him. This is the place that I am especially drawn to and feel inspired to honor those who have sacrificed for country without the honors of men. I feel a responsibility to them, to be able to make their sacrifice worth it.

May we live our lives in ways to honor the sacrifices of many-those we know and those unknown.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Grateful Heart

     As a part of a wellness challenge through work, I have accepted the challenge to focus at least 10 minutes a day for the next few weeks on focusing on my blessings. I figured accountability through posting on a blog would be good motivation to set that time aside and do it! I don't know if I will be perfect at it, but I am excited to try. Our guidelines included this nugget of wisdom:

Gratitude is thankful appreciation; it’s focusing on what we have rather than on what we lack. Developing gratitude is one of the best things we can do to improve our overall sense of well-being. It helps us to feel more alive, overcome adversity better, have less stress, be more generous and forgiving, build better relationships, and find greater joy in life.
Today, I am grateful for the gratitude I already have, and for the efforts I put into expressing it. It may sound strange, but I feel like my "Happiness is..." posts on Facebook are a way that I express gratitude. Some days it is ridiculously easy to share something that makes me happy, or something for which I am grateful. Other days, especially when I first started posting, it was something random that I sometimes had to take a long time to reach. 

The reason I started posting "Happiness is..." was because I was in a personal dark place, relying on others for validation, and having gone through one of the worst emotional experiences of my life had left me depleted and hurting. I was tired of feeling so down and stuck, so I decided to find something to be happy about (in others words, to find gratitude) in my posts. While I have not posted every day, and there are some exceptions to my postings, it has been wonderful to find gratitude over the last 6 or so years. 

I am grateful for the gratitude in my heart and expressed through my keyboard. I look forward to letting others know of my gratitude for them.