gratitude adjustment


I haven’t written since Tuesday night- pretty unbelievable for someone who overwhelms you with Tweets and status updates every time she writes a word, I know. But I have been a busy bee, people! Because things are all out of order, I am going to start with the moral(s) of the story, and toss in some characters and a plot when you least expect it.

The moral(s) of the story is/are:

We should always be looking for the lessons life is trying to teach us because they will bring with them blessings; there will always be reminders of things to be grateful for.

For this helpful reminder, I would like to thank the following:

A Child: This morning, after a period of prayer, study, and inquiry, my family and I were received into the Orthodox Church and were able to take our first communion there. This afternoon, we participated in a Forgiveness Vespers (prayer service). After the regular prayers are finished, the clergy and their wives begin asking one another for forgiveness and extending forgiveness to one another, in turn. Then the congregation does so with the clergy, and then with one another. The process goes on until everyone present has asked for, and received, forgiveness from everyone else. It is truly an experience! The most moving part of it is that the littlest children participate, embracing you and asking for, then extending, forgiveness! Not a dry eye in the house after that!

I realized that, great and small, we all need each other. And when we celebrate others with gratitude, our relationships are fortified.

As I cross this new threshold on my spiritual journey, I am rendered so grateful for the foundation laid at home, by other church leaders, and by spiritual and godly people I have met throughout life. Without all of those twists and turns, hills and valleys, I would not have ended up on this path. I have love and respect for all of you and remember you in my prayers.

A Stranger: To harken back to my previous post, last Wednesday evening was spent with the prettiest guy I’ve never met. Despite all my delusions of grandeur, that is precisely what John Mayer is to me: a complete stranger who hasn’t the slightest clue I live and breathe. However, his heartfelt apology for some especially unsavory remarks really resonated with me. Because he forced himself to become reacquainted with humility. In doing so, he discovered that where humility is, gratitude will be there, tagging along.

Since then, John’s example has given me an easy recipe for perspective. Step one: acknowledge that I can’t conquer demons, master reinvention, or do a single significant thing without vital love, input, and support from others. Step two: embrace and employ gratitude. Reinvention and conquest will follow accordingly. Repeat as necessary.

[You’ll be alright, John. Thanks for coming through for the people who have supported you. I still believe in you, and know that you will only emerge from this situation stronger, now that you’ve gained  some awareness. There will always be angry people, but- as you reminded us in Nashville, there will always be people in your corner.]

A Recession: I have been out of graduate school, unemployed, and living at home for around 14 months now. Time flies when you’re needing funds. At any rate, the job market shows no sign of giving me a break, for crying out loud. Not to mention that people with disabilities tend to face some unique challenges when it comes to finding employment. Aside from fear-based discrimination, many “means to an end” jobs [like working in a restaurant, in retail, or as a barista] are not options for people with physical disabilities, as they require significant mobility and dexterity. I’m pretty sure you know already those are not two of my strong suits.

All that to say that things seem a little bleak right now. But after thinking about a lot of other things the past few days (including aforementioned ones, of course), I have realized that without living at home, I would not have had as much time with my family, friends, and the new people I’ve met as I have. I would not have been likely to finish the children’s book, much less start to submit it to publishers and editors. I would not have spent so much time in cafes and been able to consider starting the coffee blog.

Being out of a job and out of school has forced me to forage for other opportunities. Though nothing has come to fruition yet, there are certainly things going on below the surface. Maybe life will finally blossom when the sun returns.

In the meantime, I wait. I grin. I bear it. I am thankful.

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