Here I am again. Maybe you thought I’d finally given up on my “year o’ gratefuls.” I wouldn’t blame you. Quite honestly, I had given up. This summer was, in a word, excruciating. However, as with all things that prove difficult in life, come opportunities for self-reflection and growth.
If you had asked me just 2 or 3 weeks ago if I appreciated said self-reflection and growth, I would have told you where you could effectively stick it. Sorry if I offend, but truthfully I was downright ornery about the happenings of the year to date. You read about most of the summer in my last post or the post before, I think. More was yet to come if you can believe it. It has been rough on the best of days.
I’d rather not relive it, though and so it brings us here. Finally, over the past week or so, I’ve felt as though I might actually be able to breathe again. I don’t recall how much I’ve shared my philosophies about finding peace even amidst the struggles of life … knowing me as I do, I would guess you’ve read about them ad nauseam. Sorry about that. Often I find that I have to beat it into my own brain before I can finally accept it into my heart and actually practice what I preach. My abilities to practice were certainly tested over the past while and I must say that, at first, I failed miserably.
Suffice it to say, orneriness ensued until it finally hit me.
“Self?” I said, “This is silly, self. Snap out of it!”
I wish I could say it was just that easy, too.
Nah, of course it took work!
What, you think I’m a miracle worker?
Nope! It took more effort than I like to admit to pull myself out of that funk. I’d seen too much loss, too much suffering, much too much death, and certainly enough disappointment to be able to just “snap out of it.” However, when I look back with my, now 20/20 hindsight, I can see the blessings, the tender mercies, and the good that can come from it all. It required, though, that I sacrifice my pride, my expectations, and my unwillingness to forgive. Those things can be so very difficult to extract from one’s heart but if left there they canker the soul and wilt the mind.
Changing my attitude meant that I also needed to give up and give in on some things that I’d been holding out hope for but are never going to happen. That sounds sad but, truly letting go allowed me to move on instead of remaining stuck. Letting go was the only way I could see the blessings that were right in front of me instead of hoping and wishing for things that probably weren’t in my best interest anyway.
Goodness, it is hard to let go.
I feel free, though.
I know it is probably a lame excuse to say that there is no way I can tell you all of the things that I’m grateful for to make up for the lost time on my blogging. It’s the truth, though. So here is the Reader’s Digest version of my “gratefuls” to date …
My boys have been and continue to be my anchor in this life. They keep me grounded, love me unconditionally, and encourage me to put one foot in front of the other when doing so seems impossible.
My parents, who are doing their absolute best to do what they feel is right for me.
My siblings (both by birth and by marriage) who are my family, my confidants, my friends.
Friends and neighbors who continually step in and step up.
The doctors and other health care professionals who are willing to dig deep and work tirelessly to bring me relief.
Drugs! I’m sorry people but I love my drugs. They help me move, breathe, sleep, eat and more. I’ve certainly maintained my love/hate relationship with modern medicine.
I’m so thankful for my faith with which I am able to hold my head high and walk out of darkness and into light.
Finally my God, His Son, the Savior, and the Holy Ghost. I wish I could say that I willingly kept them in the loop throughout the summer. I’m not that smart, it was more because I knew I’d be in trouble without them. I think I would be curled into the fetal position on my bedroom floor if I did not include them in my day to day wanderings. This is the key to my ability to find peace in the midst of hardship and suffering. The pain is not gone, rather my burdens have been lifted.
As always, thank you for reading. I make no promise as to when my next post will be. It seems the more I try to keep up, the further behind I fall and so I have adopted the following motto. “It’ll be what it’ll be.”
So, let it be.