Thursday, October 23, 2014

Counting my Blessings

Oftentimes I find myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, my days filling up with "I should haves" and "why didn't Is", complaining about things I couldn't do or couldn't have instead of appreciating what I have and what I can do. The constant thoughts of what must be done and the endless to-do lists flood my ever over-thinking (analyzing and reanalyzing) mind. I fail to remember that I am just human and I need time to sit down, relax and let go once in a while (or should I say often?). And simply just be thankful.

Trying hard to do so many things that I aim to accomplish takes a toll on me and pulls me away from the right way of living - to appreciate everyday blessings, even if days don't turn out the way I plan them to. Looking back into my 37 years of existence - as a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, a granddaughter, a friend, a classmate, a girlfriend, a wife, a mother, an in law, a parent volunteer, a blogger and so much more - I've had my fair share of regrets, broken promises and dreams, and disappointments. These bitter memories haunt me from time to time, days when I feel down and doubtful of myself. But come of think of it, all of these fail in comparison to the many eventful days, the wonderful memories I have shared with many great people in my life. 

Over the years of emotional ups and downs, I've learned that I should focus more on the days that bring back happy memories that lift my spirits up. And that I need to constantly remind myself of how blessed I am, not only for the earthly possessions, basic necessities and the occasional luxuries my husband has worked so hard for to provide our family with, but for the more meaningful love and presence of family and friends. I have the following saved and displayed on my phone:
this comes with the message "A grateful life"
- a promise to myself to appreciate every little blessing everyday life brings
a reminder that I already have everything I need to live a happy life
Whenever I feel down or unhappy or hurting, I turn to these images - my life's treasures - then I am reminded to look into the blessings I receive everyday. I may yearn for more material things at times, grumble over frivolous issues or even have bouts of discontent and unhappiness, but as I reflect on what I already have - the unconditional love of my family (immediate, extended and in-laws), a roof on our heads, food on our table, my children's laughter, the company of caring friends - these blessings in life I am truly grateful for. Then I am comforted by the happiness and contentment that fills my heart. 

I choose to be guided by the words of Brother David Steindl-Rast
"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." 

Let these words serve as a reminder to everyone of us that it is indeed our gratefulness for every little blessing that comes our way that leads to our happiness, not the other way around.

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