November 13

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 13: “This is the simple reality: Others have had it harder than me. Many, many others. From that darkness comes realism. From that realism comes gratitude. From gratitude comes perspective. A healthy sense of perspective is an antidote to outrage. It is an antidote to self-pity, despair, and weakness.” ― Dan Crenshaw

We cannot complain about anything. If you are reading this, it is assumed you are warm, dry, fed, clothed, and sheltered somewhere. That you have had sleep when you need it, food when you need it, water to drink, bathe, and clean in, along with enough education that allows you to read.

There is over half the world that does NOT have these things. The basic elements essential to life are a daily struggle; food, shelter, and clean water.

Those are the basic building blocks for a powerful and complete gratitude list. Add to that the benefits of driving a car versus walking miles to obtain employment, food, and clean water. Then the added bonus of NOT living in the midst of war or some form of violence going on around you 24/7. Even those in prison are much less stressed about their ability to stay alive than those living in war zones, which is also a huge portion of the world population.

If you can breathe without being  intubated today, add another item. Many would love to pay all their assets for that privilege. If you have the necessary funds to pay for rent on whatever shelter you have, add another item.

We live lives of massive privilege and whine continuously about what we do NOT have. That is the nature of entitled, spoiled, monsters. We are that. When we are given this kind of privilege, it becomes a matter of spiritual development what we do with it. Do we hoard it, refusing to help others with some story about how “hard” we worked to acquire it all? Or do we recognize the absolute Grace with which it was bestowed on us, not through deserving it or anything, but the random miracles of birth and time and place?

Being grateful means we take action. We do things to benefit others where and when we can, however we can. We give and receive with open hands and open hearts, knowing that the TRUE source of our blessings has absolutely nothing to do with us. That is perspective. That is gratitude. That, my dear ones, is the antidote to unhappiness and joylessness.

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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