I purposely didn’t post a blog on Thanksgiving about how thankful I was. Not because I thought I was above doing it. It’s because I wanted to give the concept of thankfulness a little more thought. I wanted to write something that didn’t sound trite and recycled. I wanted to express exactly how thankful I am.
The truth is, I AM extremely thankful for this life that I’ve been given, more than I can share.
So much so, that it sometimes feel more like fear or painful awareness than Thankfulness. I’ve been through some things in my life that I will never write about because they are just too horrible to revisit, and some things that I will never remember, that are probably equally so. For me to share my true thankfulness, I would have to share my entire life, which I won’t do. I believe that some things are meant to remain locked up deep inside, private and painful, to remind you of how fortunate you are to get to live.
The parts I share, through my writing, I only share because I know just how thankful I deserve to be.
My life has been a fabric of different thread, weaving in and out, bright and colorful, sometimes shameful, and often outright ugly. But each thread has meaning. Without one, there couldn’t be another, or another, or another, and then I would be nothing. Colorless, meaningless, without one stitch of gratitude within me. There have been many times that I have wished for that. But I realize that without it, I would cease to be what makes me who I am.
But life is hard. And there are moments when I want to pull my hair out and scream because I wish it was more. And then there are other times that I want to sit comatose, staring out of a window, because I wish it was less. More often, I feel that the true secret may be, just accepting what IS, which is something that I struggle with every single day. As a well-known, and well documented “control freak,” accepting that there are things outside of my control, has been the most brutal lesson of my entire life. It is the lesson that I believe is the key to understanding gratitude in its truest form.
I don’t think that I am there yet.
I still struggle too much with my life, with my path, with the threads that make me who I am. I look far too often at the road I’ve travelled instead of at the road ahead. And I’m still entirely too haunted, angry, and sad on a regular basis to live out this guise of thankfulness fully and truthfully every day.
But I’m trying.
I know where I need to go. I can see it, touch it, taste it. And some days I even achieve it, if not for the briefest of moments. Just sitting back, accepting, and appreciating what my life IS while acknowledging the path that I’ve taken to get there is truly being thankful. It’s not wishing that the thread were a different color, or woven a different way. It’s looking at the tapestry as a whole and understanding that true beauty is in the richness of each individual stitch. It’s loving each thread and not wishing that one had been different, or placed somewhere else.
I look forward to the day that I can look at my life that way, every day. I know in my mind that I have gotten here by decisions that I’ve made, and decisions that were made for me. I know that I am not a victim and that I choose how I view my life. And when it’s all said and done, that how I choose to view my life which will determine how I feel about it in the end.
With each passing day, it gets a little easier. And when I look into the eyes of my sweet, innocent, amazing children, is when I am the closest to feeling gratitude and life makes more sense. In the deepest place in my heart, I feel the glow of thankfulness and happiness every day. But I wanted to be honest so it didn’t sound as though I walk around on cloud nine, every day of my life.
Life is difficult, and we have to seek out the beauty that finds its way through the pain. And when we can do so, we can truly be more thankful.