The struggle is real. Life has a way of burying us with stress, anxiety, burdens, pain, heart break, anger, and everything in between. Sometimes I even feel so stuck or caught off guard by my circumstances that the hope of tomorrow dwindles from my thoughts, leaving me to fall into a dark state of depression. However, I have learned to see the value in every day. No matter how hard a situation may seem at the time, I try to remain optimistic and search for the positive in my daily life. Here are seven, non-materialistic things to be grateful for on a regular basis.
1) Your pulse:
If you check your wrist or neck, do you feel the thump? That feeling means you are ALIVE! Every day that we rise out of bed, we have the ability to start anew. We can decide to accomplish a goal or start a new one, to help someone else, to spend time with people who love and support us, or to do anything that makes our souls happy. Whatever the day brings forth, remember to always be thankful for each morning you are able to wake up and breathe in, a fresh new day. Someone will not be able to feel their pulse again, like you can.
2) Your Heart:
Not only is the heart vital to our existence on Earth (and the reason for why we have a pulse) but it also connects us to our environment. To me, the heart is a symbol of love and I firmly believe that we all want to be loved. Within the heart, the soul lies. The soul carries with it, your personal feelings, emotions, intentions, morals, and values of the world. Without the heart the soul would not have a home to dwell in. Without either, no one could see the truth of who you are and love would not exist. Love builds friendships, bonds families together, and helps a romantic relationship form.
To survive, we breathe in oxygen from the trees surrounding us. Have you ever listened to the rain bouncing off the road or on the roof of your home as you fell asleep? Do you feel a sense of comfort, coziness, or a warmth when you are stuck indoors on a snowy day? Point being, you do not have to be an outdoorsy kind of person to feel the benefits of nature. Additionally, nature brings about an awe and wonder feeling to a lot of people by which they cannot explain how something so beautiful and tranquil could be constructed. When I go hiking, I feel an inner peace come over me and am able to relax while taking in the freshness of the air, the multitude of colors from the blooming flowers, and the landscape of the trees and grass. Many feel nature’s positive effects as well, when doing the act of gardening because it can ease tension, stress, and frustration. You do not even have to live in the country to experience nature. There are many parks that folks can walk, run, bike, or skate through. Restaurants and store fronts, hang potted plants and/or have plants on display. You can see trees and flowers growing on sidewalks or in somebody else’s yard in your neighborhood. So the next time nature gives you something beautiful to look at, make sure you are grateful because without it, the human race would be extinct.
I must apologize to anyone who has pulled up alongside of me while I am driving. I do not blare my music to annoy anyone. I crank the stereo up because it either makes me dance, sing along (I admit I am a horrible singer) or it helps release all of the built up aggravation from the day. There seems to be a song for every occasion. If you are angry or frustrated, turn on hard rock. If you are going through heart break, pop or country, might be the genre of choice. Maybe, you just want to get down and celebrate life, which there is a considerable amount of music you can turn on to turn up. Truth be told, not everyone has a stereo system, an mp3 player, or even a Walkman (If you kids these days even know what those are) but you do not need those to have music in your life. The world around you could carry a beat, if you just listen. Music could be heard in stores, restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, and other places. While walking the sidewalks of the city, there may be performers, singing there songs and playing their own instruments. Bottom line, be grateful for the melody in your head or on your heart because those are the lyrics to your life in the moment.
Whatever you refer to this higher power as, I can only tell you from my own personal experiences, that there is someone bigger and more powerful than us as human beings, could ever imagine. As a survivor of domestic violence, anger, heart break, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, smoking (which I am still currently trying to quit), and resentment, I would not be here today if it was not for God and the Angels that surround me every day. I should be dead but because of his purpose, plan, reasoning, grace, love, and mercy, I am thankfully here to endure and to enjoy, life’s struggle and beauty. I am grateful that I know him and that I have witnessed his power for myself.
6) Free Will:
Free will gives an individual the ability to make his or her own decisions. Many people do not believe in free will because they believe that their choices are all based on fate and destiny. I actually believe that all these concepts could be connected. However, that explanation can wait for another blog post and another day. Free will exists and whether we like the concept or not, we should be grateful for it. How would you like it, if someone treated you like a child for the rest of your life? Always telling you what to do, telling you when or when not to do something, not respecting you enough to know that you can hold a part of responsibility too. I know sometimes I personally, would like for people to make a decision for me once in a while but really, who can say what choice would be beneficial for my life or not? Do not put your life in someone else’s hands. You are bound to die by those hands. No one can walk in your shoes the way you can and even if you stumble, you can always be assured that you will learn something in the process of being detoured back to your intended target (destiny).