Be grateful for everything

takkie

When we start to become grateful to everyone and everything, we begin to make peace with people we dislike and aspects of ourselves that we rejected. We begin to view things differently. We start to view difficult situations as opportunities for growth. In her book ‘Start where you are: A guide to compassionate living’, Pema Chördön writes that once you practise to be grateful you realise that the people you dislike the most are actually your teachers. They mirror hidden aspects of ourselves and give us an opportunity to befriend ourselves.

As I was reflecting on the period in my life when I was about nine and ten years of age, I realised that there were some events that happened that I disliked. I sat with it for a while. If I really wanted to I could dwell in the negative but I chose to look at it through the eyes of gratitude. Once I did that the learning from that event became clearer. Now I can look back at the event and feel grateful for it.

It inspired me to write a gratitude meditation that I would like to share with you:

Gratitude meditation

I am grateful for the learnings that accompanied my birth and life thus far.

I am grateful for my imperfections, as they teach me acceptance.

I am grateful for the wisdom of my body and the vessel that it is for my soul.

 

I am grateful for the variety of people with me on the journey.

I am grateful for the softness of touch.

I am grateful for moments of beauty and joy.

 

I am grateful to be in this world of complexity and simplicity.

I am grateful to be here with the confusion and clarity.

I am grateful to be aware that I do not know.

 

I am grateful that my pain is never more than I can bear.

I am grateful that love can endure suffering.

I am grateful that I can trust the process.

 

May I learn my lessons with ease.

May I open myself to love with all my heart even if it makes me vulnerable.

May I express my gratitude towards others.

 

Learning: Be grateful for everything

 Healing question: How can I be and feel more grateful for the struggles in my life?

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The jewel of friendship

friends

When I was about eight years old my best friend moved to Potchefstroom ( a town in South Africa 1200km from my home town, Wellington). The event of her moving away was very difficult for me and made an imprint on my life. I can still clearly recall how I felt. I was very sad and wanted to give her something special to remember me as well as the rest of the class at school. So, I collected 50cents (in those days it was worth more than now) of each of our classmates to contribute towards a gift for her. My mother took me to Shoprite, which was at that stage the only supermarket in town, to buy a present for her. I remember walking up and down the isles and wondering what gift will be able to represent how special she is to me. When I saw the jewelry box, with the ballerina inside which pirouettes to the music that plays when you open the box, I knew that was the perfect gift.

Looking back I understand why the jewelry box was the perfect gift. It is 27 years later and we are still friends. Like the genuine gems in jewelry our friendship had endured the test of times. We have shared moments that shaped our lives from stories of our first kiss, varsity days, and our first jobs to the first time our hearts were broken and times when life seemed hopeless. Real friendship is a gift and a jewel in life.

Sometimes, we get carried away with the busyness of life and tend to forget about our jewelry in the box. As with a wonderful authentic piece of jewelry, we treasure it because it is so precious to us. We don’t wear it as often as we should. Or we think that we can only wear the specific jewelry to special occasions. We only remember about our jewelry on birthdays and other special events.

The times when we do open the box and put on the genuine jewels we feel seen. As the necklace touches the place close to our heart, it brings out a beauty in us and makes us shine. We realise that every moment is a special occasion. That true friendships are rare but need to be nurtured and worn close to the heart on a regular basis.

Learning: Genuine friendships are the jewelry of life – it endures the tests of time but needs to be treasured and worn close to the heart.

Healing question: How did I treasure my friendships today?

P.S. My friend, you know who you are, thank you for the jewel of friendship.