Living Life With Gratitude

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul”

Rabbi Kushner

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picture by Laura Cormier CB, Nova Scotia

Many days scurry through life with a million things I think I need to do, but sometimes life takes hold and tells me to slow down.

I have had many things happen in my life that have forced me to slow down, reflect and pay attention to the moment.

  • Two of my close friends were diagnosed with breast cancer, Today they are doing great. Some of my closest friends and mentors have passed away as a result of breast cancer. My doctor who I adored lost her fight to breast cancer.
  • In 1999 I had my own scare with breast cancer that turned out to be non life threatening  fibroadenoma.
  • My friends husband passed away because of brain cancer.
  • Two of our friends and colleagues lost their children under the age of 30 to tragic vehicle accidents. One was our mechanic.
  • My accountant and his wife a dear counselling friend ( who got me my job in private practice) died suddenly within a short span of each other.
  • A close relative died by suicide.
  • Students who I adored have passed away from suicide much too young. Students I have worked with have died way too young and left me deeply saddened.
  • Family members and friends have been diagnosed with cancer. My old roommate lost her fight after battling cancer twice.
  • My principal and friend who I laughed with every day for five years was killed suddenly and tragically.
  • My first love died at too young of an age.
  • I have relatives with the dreaded disease of Alzheimers.
  • I have had many friends who have lost parents and family members.
  • I was diagnosed with keratoconus (a progressive eye disease).

There is more , but you get the idea. Many of us have experienced similar challenges and losses , yet we recognize that there is so much to be grateful for. We know we need to live each day as fully as we can because really one never knows what is around the corner.

In my experience, people are never more real or uninhibited than when they or a loved one are seriously ill or near death. I know that is true for me. Losing people I have deeply cared about and for has stopped me in my tracks. Made me reflect on life and death and what is really important.

Sometimes we feel like we have very important things to do with a very important job. We get caught up in the small things that happen and what is expected of us, but what really matters in life is not the things, the job, the title, the day to day little things that can eat at us. They are all small stuff and really of no significance.

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People matter most

Not money, not assets, not things … certainly not stuff

Friends, family, relationships our connections

What really matters in life is the health of the relationships we have with the people we love. Tell those people that you love them. I try to do this as often as possible and if you are reading this and I haven’t told you lately remember I do love you and am very grateful you are in my life.

I am going to invest my energy in those people … because they are worth it, they are important and they matter most.

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If you have shared a laugh with me … I am grateful

If you have shared a meal with me … I am grateful

If you have taught me something … I am grateful

If you have had a cup of tea with me … I am grateful

If you have graced me with your time and presence … I am grateful

If you have helped me in any way … I am truly grateful

I am grateful for each new day I am alive and if I get to connect with you all the more grateful I am.

So … be grateful

Grateful that you don’t already have everything you desire

If you did , what would there to be to look forward to

Grateful that you don’t know something

It provides an opportunity to learn something new

Grateful for the difficult times

During these times you are often transformed and grow

Grateful for your limitations

They provide opportunity for improvements

Grateful for each new challenge

They build strength and character

Grateful for your troubles as they can become your blessings

Grateful for failures

They teach us way more than our successes

I am truly grateful I have had a career that I continue to love and am surrounded by people who lift me up and make me a better person.

YOU are what really matters to me and always will.

I am truly living life with gratitude.

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