One of the most important lessons I have learned is to live life with a grateful heart and mind. It used to be so easy for me to take things for granted. I’d go through my day without giving any notice to any number of small miracles and blessings that were happening all around me. The very fact that I had breath in my lungs should have been enough to get me to pause and give thanks.
Today, my heart and mind are open to receive with gratitude all the things I have in my life. Some, I have earned; most are gifts. Some of these gifts are things I used to consider as just part of being human. Gifts such as being able to walk, to run, to dance, to see a beautiful sunset, to hear birdsong with the dawn, to feel the softness of my cat’s fur, to taste the creamy sweetness of chocolate ice cream, and to smell the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
I’ve been blessed with my wonderful apartment, and my financial ability to pay rent, electric, and phone bills. I’m blessed to have good health care and prescription coverage. I’m blessed to have a car to drive, clean clothes to wear, fresh water to drink and food in my belly. I’m blessed to have friends and family whom I can rely on and trust to always have my back, to be there when I need support or encouragement. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to get an education, and to have opportunities to be of service to others. I’m blessed to have learned coping skills to help me manage my PTSD symptoms. I’m blessed to be a part of a community of fellow survivors who understand and empathize with the many challenges I face as a trauma survivor.
Sometimes, I catch myself bemoaning something happening in my life that I don’t like, forgetting how miraculous life is. When this happens, I write a gratitude list. A gratitude list can be as simple as taking a moment out of my day to come up with three things for which I am grateful, or it can be a detailed list of all the things I can think of which benefit me in some way.
Writing gratitude lists helps me appreciate that no matter how difficult things seem to be, there are numerous things in my life that are good, satisfying, and life-affirming. All I need to do is take a moment and give thanks to the Universe for the many blessings bestowed upon me.