The first time I ever experienced gratitude- I’ll never forget it.
I was standing in my room in Ontario. Actually it was my sisters old room because I had just got back from a year abroad travelling in Australia and Bali.
I stood over the bed and dumped out my travel wallet. Everything started to fall out making its way to various places on the floor and bed. I looked down at everything and I saw abundance. I hadn’t ever known abundance like that before- I mean I just lived it. But I didn’t realize how much I had really just acquired until I saw it all laying there.
In that moment I sat down and stifled through every single one of my plane and bus tickets. I saw different currency that I had grown use to which was now a memory and one of the best souvenirs. I sat and touched everything. I looked through all the pockets and came across something else… my hospital bracelet. I’ve written about this before in a previous blog, but in overview- I had surgery in Australia. When I saw the bracelet pop out, I was flooded with memories and feelings that I had forgotten about.
This time I wasn’t sad… I was flooded with emotions of what I had only heard others talk about.
G R A T I T U D E
I started sobbing and tears just kept on flooding out of my face like Niagara Falls. But I wasn’t sad or depressed like I had experienced prior to this year abroad… it was more of happy, unbelievable tears. It was like with every single tear a person who helped me came to mind. All the teachers I had in that time of my life. All their voices. All the laughs. All the friendships I had made- they flashed through my mind so fast and my hear just beamed of so much happiness I couldn’t help but cry and cry… and you guessed it cry some more.
This was the first time I had ever experienced this emotion so BIG and so PROFOUND like that.
Today I am writing this blog- which will come out of Thanksgiving Sunday. A day I grew up sharing with my family. A day that we all on some level have gathered for to celebrate and share our harvest and gratitude for the role each member plays.
This year it may look different for many of us. This year feels different for all of us.
And though I have personally made it clear that this is something we all need for the world, society and our systems. I am for the change. It doesn’t mean it isn’t easy to accept. It does mean there is a sense of grief that takes place.
It is important to feel that. Feel the messy middle in between. Feel the anger. Feel the upset. Feel the motions that come with change.
But may I remind you…. to come back home to gratitude. A feeling that doesn’t know distance. It doesn’t know boarders. It is but memories and feelings that literally change our systems. Our own internal systems. It rewires our brain chemistry! Like seriously, if you don’t believe me LOOK IT UP!
Gratitude is something I write daily. MINIMUM 5 things every. single.day.
I do this because I know it’s power. I do this because it reminds what I do have even when there is so much I do not have. I do this to remember. To remember moments in my life where I have struggled and still found something to be grateful for. I do this to remember that even when I feel like I am at the end of my rope, battling something I feel is to big for me…. there is something I have that maybe someone else wishes they had. I do this to help myself. I do this to send smoke signals out to the world bleached in colours of love. I do this so it becomes a tidal wave helping the world see the beauty, instead of the things that are dark and heavy. I do this because it is a beautiful reminder of the gifts this life can bring. No matter how small, big or in between.
Gratitude has helped me. It has been a light in the darkness. It has been an anchor to help me ground into this reality.
2020 has put many of us through struggles…. struggle and challenge is part of life- but maybe its about how we choose to deal with it. We have to feel all of it. It isn’t just about bypassing. But maybe when we feel the challenge- we appreciate the bliss that much more. Maybe that is where true gratitude was born.
That day I sat on my bed and cried and held my heart with gratitude inside…. I finally discovered a feeling I only read or heard others talk about. You see, with the climb comes this ability to really truly feel grateful for what you have. What you experience moment to moment. With the climb you get to FULLY embrace the view at the top. You don’t let it pass you by. You stop and you breathe and allow it to sweep you away to a place and a feeling you may have never been.
I struggled in ways I had never struggled before when I moved to Australia that day. That first day. Right before I boarded the plane…. I got a call saying I needed surgery. I went anyway. It was a challenge like I hadn’t ever felt before. But I thank god every single day for all the love, kindness and support that got me threw that crazy climb of life. Because finally I got to experience the dream. My dream. It changed my life.
So although this year has been a struggle, a climb and uncertain battle for some of us….. maybe this weekend we can immerse ourselves in gratitude for what we have not only been through, but also accomplished. Maybe no matter where we are- together or apart- today we can find a way to transcend time and space and feel the energetic connection that gratitude brings. Together, near or far apart.
G R A T I T U D E …. a feeling like no other.
This is your gateway drug, I dare you to try it.