November 12

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 12: “To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.

Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” ― Thomas Merton

Our lives change in the blink of an eye. Our acceptance of this is not what it could be. We get so carried away by what is going on that we don’t recognize the moment-by-moment transformations we get all the time.

When we see someone we have not seen in a long time, there is an instant of shock and surprise that they look different (or don’t!), that we have missed their process, no matter what it may be. We forget that we have done the same thing.

Our culture focuses so much on the outward appearance that we recognize this first. What we fail to see in others, quite often, is the transformation on the inside. The emotional growth and development we all achieve as we age; or that we don’t get when we sit in our same attitudes and beliefs for so many years.

I am devoted to healing. And I am devoted to talking about it. My transformation may be apparent on the outside; I am older and more wrinkled every day; but I am WAY more changed on the inside. I love being a Crone. I am wiser than I ever thought possible. I am more honest than I ever imagined I could be. I am a mentor, a teacher, a healer, and a wise Medicine woman. How cool is that?

Each of these gifts was dug out of the interior of my soul through life experiences that did not feel so good as I resisted them. Life is not painful in the living of it. The pain we feel is our resistance to what life is bringing to us. Our human condition is fraught with experiences that make no sense. That crack us open and break us down into emotional train wrecks, because Ego tells us it is wrong or bad.

Our judgment of ourselves and others, life itself, is the thing that drives us to believe we are wrong or bad. There is no such thing.

Life is, at best, interesting. At worst, we deem it tragic or happy or peaceful or any of those things, based on our vantage point at the time. We have all suffered, cried, hated, loved, felt grief, felt loss, felt broken and alone.

These are the very things that have given me wisdom and faith and hope and joy and love. They have been the sharp tools that shaped my life, my heart, my love, my life. I cannot ever begin to be grateful enough.

Popular opinion is that we “survive” these things. That is only because we eschewed them at first. We judged them as wrong and bad and shoved them down and drank and drugged ourselves into oblivion. It is a long road. How much simpler when we take these lessons and hold them close and let them teach us who we REALLY are, not who we want others to believe we are.

What if we did THAT and then we loved the creation of all these stories for being what life is REALLY all about? Instead of the insane notion that we are here to grow up, go to work, get married, have kids, continue to work for 30 or 40 years and then retire and have a little fun?

What about that allows us to be anything other than automatons! Robots? That is insane! We would do nothing to be a part of this great big wonderful thing called life. With all its imperfections, joy, laughter, and awe; it is the best damned thing I can imagine. I am so grateful for all the left turns when I was supposed to go right, all the crazy shit others never understood, all the words I have poured out onto paper, all the songs I have sung, and all the people, the amazing people, who are doing it just like me…against the story line as prescribed!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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