Thankful For What It’s Not
I think we all grew up with the “be thankful” phrase ringing in our ears or “say thank you” and yet sometimes, people just plain do not feel thankful. It took me a life time to realize that being thankful did not necessarily mean the gushy “Oh I am so happy and so thankful” dance out in the front yard but that it could mean simply the “I am thankful I am not the woman with the 60 pound tumor”. type thankfulness.
By now, some of you are probably scratching your heads and thinking “hmm think they shot a little too much of that electrical juice in her spine the other day and it is affecting her brain.” Well, could be but there really is a reasoning behind what I said. Sometimes we fail to realize that being thankful is not only being thankful for what we have but what we do not have.
Son used to ask me “Mom, why do you watch these horrible shows like that woman there with the 60 pound tumor that no doctor wanted to operate on but finally did? “ And my response is that I watch these shows to remind myself to be thankful not for what I do have but on those days when I am not feeling too thankful for what I do have…on those days when everything seems to be hitting at once, I realized that I could be thankful for what I do not have. I was thankful I was not that woman with the 60 pound tumor.
These shows remind me that there is always someone worse than I am and that part of being thankful is realizing that. And now when something new hits, son and I will look at each other and say “well at least it is not the 60 pound tumor” or whatever else we might have seen on those shows. It helps keep things in perspective especially when dealing with chronic pain type things. And it helps me realize that I can get through this.
I believe that if we try to think of a positive every time we have a negative in our lives that it helps counter balance things. Sort of like looking at those scales where you put the weights on the little basket on one side and whatever you are weighing on the other. If bad things keep happening, if you do not counter balance with something good then one side completely tips the whole thing over.
I am not sure if I can explain but this is how I look at emotions and our lives are fueled by emotions. So, picture yourself as a vehicle and think about what happens if you run a car with gas that has water in it…or as we call it bad gas. It spits and sputters and sometimes just totally died and will not go forward. But, take that same car and put good gas, maybe even a little high-test in it and that thing will chug right along. Getting the image here? So, if we allow too many negative emotions to fuel our lives, then our lives are going to chug and jerk and possibly stall out. But, if we can put some good gas in there, it helps pick things up and move it right along.
So, I try to inject myself with good things even when things are going really rough like now. It may be looking at old pictures, or talking to someone I love, or reading a good book or watching a good movie, It might be eating something out of the ordinary or special. It may be taking that nice hot shower in the new shower chair, as long as it is something that is positive and will fuel my system to help counter balance the bad.
And so tonight as I lay here in pain, I am thankful that at least it is not the 60 pound tumor and I realize that it could be a lot worse and is for many people. And being just that little bit thankful makes me start looking at other good things in my life and soon…I find myself relaxing a little more and the sleepies sneaking in on me, which means I might sleep for a while.
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