For those who have been following this blog (even during the unintended/intended) absence ~ I want to let you know that my Mother is slipping away. While this is not a totally joyful occasion, please be aware that I am totally at peace with what is going on. I have no unresolved issues with her, no excess baggage that has to be dealt with. I will, however, be flying to Montana tomorrow afternoon and will return to Texas late Wednesday night. Trust me - where my mother is there is NO computer connection (sorry Laurie!!!) so I will report on the trip next weekend.
Now, for the heart of this posting -- I was talking to a couple of friends this week, one is an addict and the other a really hard-core alcoholic. We were discussing being thankful and grateful ~ and the difference between them. Some of what I am posting relates directly to them, but thought about it, I realized the questions related to everyone.
Am I/you/we grateful?
Supposedly we are celebrating being thankful this week ~ but it appears that the Thanksgiving part has been shoved off the shelves for the next event in the calendar. But, has that spirit of being grateful vanished from the shelves of my life as well? Am I truly grateful?
Am I grateful for a place? For the shelter from more than just the elements of weather ~ but grateful for the shelter sometimes from others and sometimes even from myself?
Am I grateful for myself? for the who/what that I am? Am I grateful for the recovery from addiction(s) help me keep my life in balance? Am I grateful for the possible metal diagnosis that will keep me very aware of what is going on around me and within me ~ perhaps for the rest of my life?
Am I grateful for what I can do? Am I grateful for what I may be unable to do? And grateful for those who respect my limitations, but do not baby them either? And am I grateful for those who don't?
Am I grateful for my frustrations? Am I grateful for what I'm not being allowed to do? Am I grateful for the road-blocks in my way? Am I grateful for the mountains that seem insurmountable that I know I must go over as I unable to go around them ~ of under them?
Am I grateful for others? The ones who greet me on the way by? It's easy to be grateful for the ones I like, but what about the ones that I don't? Perhaps those are there to help me learn ~ such as patience, tolerance and long suffering (and they can make me suffer!) Perhaps by being grateful the annoyance will fade over time.
Am I grateful for what I have? While many of us have very little, there are those who have even less. Of course there will always be those who have even more, but am I able to be grateful for those as well?
Perhaps the universe will not trust me with more until I am truly grateful for all I have.
When I become grateful for all these things, then my heart will be at peace...my life can come back to manageability.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.