I have written often about the gratitude I live in every day, but only recently has the gratitude been truly from within, for no reason whatsoever other than I am grateful for the way things are in my life, right now.
Before, when I either wrote about gratitude, or talked about it, there was a hint of fear lingering in the background. Fear that whatever it was I was grateful for would be removed from my life - so good God I'd best express thanks to keep it. There is a difference in saying I'm grateful and feeling I'm grateful. Don't get me wrong...I'm a big believer in fake it til ya make it. I said I was grateful for things even when in the midst of fear and turmoil. But doing so made the process of learning real gratitude possible.
There has been so much for me to let go of in the last few years. As a result of "losing" my condo, I am so very grateful for my present living situation.
My marriage dissolved, but my ex and I have a better relationship today than we ever did while dating, or living together or being married. And when I hear about other women going through the hell their exes rain down upon them because of ego and pride and resentment, I look up and whisper "Thank You GOD" for graciously forging a good relationship between me and my daughters' dad. It certainly doesn't hurt that the biggest lesson I have learned is how to not engage and to simply keep my piehole SHUT.
I have a new(ish) car that I make the effort to take good care of because I am so amazed that I was able to even finance a nice vehicle after my divorce and bankruptcy. The fact that I have been at the same job for the same company for 8 years and make a nice salary is also a gift in more ways than I can express.
My kids, in spite of divorce, are healthy and well-adjusted and doing well in school. I was so desperately fearful that they would lash out or internalize or...I don't know...I just remembered my parent's year-long split and how it affected me and I was terrified my kids would react the same way. I went from being a happy, outgoing little girl to being withdrawn and scared and lonely, even after they reunited. So today, while our family's split has been painful for all of us, I think because their dad and I make a real effort to work together, the girls have been able to cope well with the breakup far better than I could ever have hoped for.
I tend to be a little less arrogant. HAHAHAHAAA....yeah, yeah. Ok...vain, yes, arrogant though? Maybe not so much anymore. I see things about myself today that I never had the courage or honesty to see. I am always being taught a new perspective, and having a-ha moments where I realize, "Oh my, I was terribly wrong back then..." where up until recently it was "his fault" or "her fault" or anyone's fault anywhere, anytime.
On the flipside of that, I don't beat myself up like I used to either. It's odd and amazing to achieve a sense of balance, finally, in my life. Spiritually, emotionally, physically...I feel like all the hell-fire I walked through in the last, well, 10 years actually... I feel like because I didn't give up and give in, surviving that soul-breaking pain allowed me to grow beyond my wildest dreams.
Physically I am rebounding better since losing weight over the last 6 months, something I struggled with for over two years. So I am exceptionally grateful for my physical health of late. And damn, I think I look pretty good (oops, there's that Leonine vanity showing again...)
And again, on the flipside, I still have my insecurities (quite a lot!!) and dork-moments (even more-so) where I just have to choose: Do I cry or do I laugh? Nine times out of 10 I choose to laugh at myself. I still can give in to my anger and act like an absolute moron, often embarrassingly so. Ugh. I hate that. But for the most part, even when I slip into old behavior and thinking, I am quicker to see it for what it is and adjust my settings to move forward.
So, I tend to say, "Thank you God," many, many times throughout the day. And saying thank you often helps bring about a happiness inside that I have not felt in many, many years.
Thank you Big Guy. For everything.