November 16

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 16: “Joy flows to the depth of the meaning you give to the moment. Remember, every moment is a gift. Treat it with gratitude.” ― Akiroq Brost

I have had some amazing moments of sheer joy that were not a big deal. In fact, few of my “big deal” moments were infused with that kind of joy.

Somehow, the events of our lives are all either staged to be amazing or simply ARE amazing because they are spontaneous and unplanned.

Although there is some joy felt in weddings, births, and other big life moments, I find that the ones I most remember feeling exhilarated about were ones I did not know were coming. Those surprise moments when something happens, and I happen to be fully present to it. This happens most often for me when I am living in the moment out of doors or with an animal or friend and do not plan or expect that moment of SURPRISE! WOW! WASN’T THAT AMAZING????

I was very happy when I got married, but the best memory I have of that day was my husband surprising me by putting on a favorite (really obscure) piece of music of mine and dancing me around the house. He was SO excited, and his joy was palpable. It took me by surprise and I have never forgotten it. He was all dressed and ready for guests to arrive. I was still putting flowers out and doing my little house stuff. It was wonderful! And so joyful!

We had many moments like that, because he worked overtime to surprise me. It was one of his best gifts. I did not always respond the way he would have liked, but I loved him for it all the time. Sometimes he would jump out or startle me. I have a lot of PTSD from past life experiences, so my startle response is not what he hoped for, but we both learned to work through that.

And I would always interrupt his work to show him a miracle experience…one time a beautiful swallowtail butterfly hatching from my artichoke plant, unfolding his wings and flapping them to dry so he could fly. Breathtaking. I made him stop on a drive many times to watch a hawk or eagle flying and hunting or just perched somewhere. I can watch them for hours.

We learned to live with each other that way. He would be irritated because I was asking him to stop what he was doing and vice-versa. Life happens like that.

At the end of his life, he surprised me by making a video for me, so I could hear his voice after he was gone. I wish it was still with me. But he told me thanks for teaching him to pay more attention to nature and for letting him surprise me even when he could tell I did not like it.

We have to remember to treasure these things. They are wonderful. We get them with loved ones, in Nature, with babies and animals, and forever when we walk mindfully through our lives, breath by breath, moment by moment. All we have to do is say thank you and pay attention.

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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