Do you know how truly blessed you really are? I can hear you’re “yeah, buts” when you think about your answer to this question.
Yeah but, I don’t have any friends, yeah but, I am up to my ears in debt, yeah but, my mother is dying of cancer, yeah but, I’m so overweight, yeah but, my son is a drug addict, yeah but, yeah but, yeah but.
Do you know how truly blessed you are in spite of the yeah buts? There is not one person in this whole wide world who is immune to difficulty and challenges. It is a part of our human existence. It is incredibly easy to get caught up in what is wrong in our life instead of being in gratitude for all the blessings we have been given.
I am just as guilty of this. I am very impatient with life. I want what I want when I want it. The problem with this is I have trouble appreciating where I am and what I do have. I am too often thinking life is ok, but just wait until the time comes when I have this or that. Then my life will be great.
Guess what I realized? That “someday when” may never come. What a waste it would be to get to the end of my life and to never have fully seen the gifts, the blessings, the beauty and the love without this veil of “it’s not quite good enough yet” covering it all up.
Of course there are moments when I can be present and feel grateful, but they are too few and far between. Today I was reminded by a dear friend that life is in the here and now and when life throws us lemons, we need to make lemonade!
This friend is also a compassionate wife whose husband has been challenged by an illness that has recently forced him into a wheelchair. They had just returned from their first trip with the wheelchair. In her words, “It was so difficult to travel; the world is not very accessible. As time passes, we remember the wonderful things about the trip and less about the struggles. Traveling, like so many other things over the past two years, is changing for us. At home, he seems so able and life feels so full. In a different environment, it is clear just how much he's lost. This opened up the wounds for us again, and we needed some time to grieve. Now we know that we need to travel smarter, and there are trips that aren't possible for us anymore. Life is full of losses, but also of gifts. We haven't lost sight of how many gifts we've been given. I'm grateful for everyday together. ”
It’s easy to forget we are not alone, we are all one. We are all faced with challenges at one time or another in our lives, but we are all on the same journey through life. We all basically have the same lessons. They are lessons of love, joy, forgiveness, and healing for our selves and others. At times, my challenges seem insignificant in comparison to others, and at other times they don’t, which is exactly why we need others. Other people serve as a mirror to our selves and our own life and help us learn. When we are unhappy because life doesn’t seem fair for one reason or another, by being in relation to others we get to be reminded that things aren’t so bad and also how great life can be.
After hearing from my friend, I am jolted back into present time and into appreciation and gratitude. I have my family, my health, my career. There is money coming in, food on the table, and wonderful friends to share stories and laughter with. I have people who love me and I them. I have choices and freedom and a connection with an infinite source of love-a higher power. And, I am fortunate enough to be able to have dreams of where I want to be in my life and the insight to keep it all in perspective.
There will always be someone in the world who is in more pain or less fortunate than we are. Send them blessings. There will always be others who seem to have it all and there are always going to be others who think you have it all. Send them blessings too and then remember, no matter what, we all have blessings and gifts in our life to be grateful for, we just have to sometimes be gently reminded.
Debra Betterly, Ph. D. is a Life Coach whose specialty is midlife mastery. This article is derived from her eNewsletter, “Second Acts”, a spirit-mind-body approach for women re-inventing the second half of life. Please visit http://www.amazingjourneycoach.com where you can receive her free eCourse, “Eight Steps to Creating Positive Life Changes in Midlife” http://www.amazingjourneycoach.com/eightsteps.html , subscribe to her free monthly eNewsletter, learn more about her “Midlife Mastery Club” membership along with other transformational programs.