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Being grateful for what you have.

04/14/2011

Today got me thinking once again about how grateful we should be for what we have. I’ll be honest- I do not always act so grateful. I complain. A LOT. In fact, I could probably think of several times just today where I complained–about the weather, about feeling tired, about being hungry, about stubborn parents of my clients, and so on. I know we all do it, and it’s completely natural. We are only human, and we have plenty of things about which to complain. At the same time, however, there are so many things we all, myself included, for which we have to be grateful.

Today I did an intake for a client in my program at work and could not believe all of the trauma and abuse that this adolescent male had endured. In only his first four years of his life he experienced abuse-physically, emotionally, and verbally. This young man had struggled and continues to do so (suffering from his own emotional and mental health problems), but he survived. Despite all obstacles and all of the negatives, he still survived. It’s impossible not to feel sorry for him, but I don’t think that’s what we should take from cases like him. I don’t think he wants people to feel sorry for him. I think what’s best is to try to help him. Moreover, I think it’s important to learn from situations like this.

Don’t take for granted all of the things you have for which to be thankful.

I feel so fortunate to have grown up in a family with two loving parents to take care of my physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. I am thankful that my parents have encouraged me, given me advice, and supported me no matter what. I am thankful that my parents were able to help me attend college and still strongly support me in my educational/career endeavors. I know I take my parents for granted from time to time, but I am still so grateful for my upbringing.

I think that we should all make it a goal to complain a little less about our little everyday annoyances. Each time you want to complain about something you don’t have control over, or something that just isn’t worth it: stop and think about something for which you grateful. Think about something positive you have going for you in your life. Think about a person who cares about you. Think about something you are good at. Think about the opportunities you are given. Think about having your basic needs met in life. Stop and think about it. I think that stopping and thinking about all of the positives can help us endure some of life’s pitfalls- big and small.  the positives and making them count can help us get through the everyday stressors and can even help us get through life’s bigger stressors and tragedies. I am making it my goal to stop and think before I start to complain. I am making it my goal to think about all of the good things going on in my life.

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