With the holidays right around the corner, we start reflecting on everything we are grateful for. This year, however, I want you to try something different. Take the time to think about the struggles, difficulties, and hard times you have faced and find gratitude in these experiences, too. I’ll start…
Disappoints I Am Thankful For:
• My parents not letting me do everything I wanted to while growing up – If they would’ve, who knows where I would be now? Would I have gone to college (where I met my husband, too)? Would I have learned proper morals elsewhere? Would I even be sitting here writing this? Who knows? The one thing I do know is that I’m sure glad they didn’t let me do some of the things I begged to do!
• Missed job opportunities – If I would’ve gotten a few of the jobs I desperately wanted in the past, I would have never pursued my writing full-time and would still be wondering about “what could have been.” Sure, I would have continued down my social work path, but I honestly feel that I have helped just as many children and families through my writings and other teachings — not to mention doing all of this while being home with the kids to wait on them hand and foot!
• My kids not listening – The older my children get, I have begun to realize that just because they sometimes don’t listen when I tell them to do something, does not always make them defiant or bad. It makes them who they are and encourages me to see their point of view. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that I agree with them or that it doesn’t make me mad, it just means that it nudges me to truly hear what they are saying and to appreciate their differences before I ground them!
• Arguments with my husband – If we had never spoken up and expressed our feelings when something was bothering one of us, our marriage may not be as strong as it today. It’s also fun to makeup when the fight is over — even if it’s a few days later!
• Friends who have hurt me – If they wouldn’t have betrayed me, I may have never realized just how much I cherish the ones who haven’t. It’s ironic because you spend so much time in the first half of your life being pissed off at everyone who has done you wrong and waste your days trying to figure out what you did to make this person so mad at you that oftentimes, you begin this weird downward spiral into the pits of despair because you are so hurt and ’won’t ever get over this.’ Well, let me tell you…as you cross over into your forties and beyond, you absolutely do get over it because you know there are more important things in life. This is because the older and wiser we get, we finally realize (hallelujah!) that we can actually walk away from negative people, cross them off our friend list, and move on! When I think back now, for every crappy friend I have lost throughout my life, I have almost always ended up encountering a better one down the road who are still in my life today!
Now, it’s your turn. What are some of your “thankfuls” that have come out of disappointing situations?