Gratitude and Healthtember
Do you know what tomorrow will bring?
I’ve been writing a blog on a weekly basis for about nine months. My intention is to write something every Thursday or Friday. In most weeks, I hit late Thursday or early Friday morning and I don’t have a clue what I’m going to write about. This week was a bit different as the ideas have been flowing for the past couple days, now the challenge is which one to share. There’s a story about the value of being a contributing member of a healthy community. There’s another story about the value of taking baby steps, and how when you look back on a year of baby steps you realize how much can happen in a short time. There’s at least a story or two to be shared during September when I write about Healthtember, a month to focus on happiness and health. But these stories are going to have to wait.
As I was finalizing what I would write about today, I received comments on two recent blogs from the same person. The comments were so relevant to me and I couldn’t have been more grateful for the time the person took to respond. The message was clear. Today’s blog is about gratitude.
I have learned a few things about writing a blog. When you hit “Publish”, you’ve put your written word, your expression, your art, whatever you want to call it, you’ve put it out to the world for everyone to see. And you know what, you have no idea if anyone is going to like it. You don’t even know if anyone is going to read it. You’re pretty sure that family members are going to read it because they know you’re going to ask them if you liked it at Sunday dinner, but that doesn’t really count.
You have no idea, but you put it out there anyway. Then someone sends you an e-mail or posts a comment. For me this is a very big deal. We seem to live very chaotic lives, and when someone takes the time to respond, you feel for a moment that you have been able to make at least a small difference in someone’s life at that moment. I do my best to respond to every comment, because the truth is that at that moment, they’ve made a difference in my life. If any type of artist – blogger, writer, actor, painter – never received any feedback on their work, it would be hard for them to keep pursuing their passion. But even the simplest bit of feedback is often enough to encourage them to keep going. Thank you to all who have ever commented on one of my blog posts, or anyone else’s, I am truly grateful.
Today I’m going to take it a step further. As I mentioned above, the two comments on recent blogs were very relevant to me. The thing about comments on a blog is that most people never see them, especially if they get posted to a blog from a month or two back. Today I’d like to really share my gratitude to the person who responded to the blog posts. You have made a real difference for me this week, and I hope your comments make a difference to other readers as well.
Forgiveness and Healing
The original post entitled Forgiveness and Healing was published in mid-July. Here is the comment I’d like to share:
Ken, as always… thank you for this post, Forgiveness and Healing. May I say it seems to be missing its predecessor; Pain. Though you didn’t mention it here, I know you’ve spent time in his company. How else could you have been introduced to Forgiveness and Healing? I believe that before you get to meet the other brothers, Forgiveness and Healing, you need Pain, the protagonist/host.
These three always travel together and if ever they’re separated things go out of alignment – out of order. When that happens it makes one veer off the road making either a hard left or right taking you away from the center – your internal/spiritual course of travel. Then once there you, the individual, have to spend whatever amount of time needed to redirect and get back on course to the fluidity of the soul.
I know, I know… you’re probably asking why I see Pain as a hero – of sorts. He serves a greater purpose and is often overlooked. Pain’s purpose is to crack the shell of our current, limited understanding and make ready the soul for a proper introduction to Joy.
We all understand that good things happen to bad people, yes. What if we start viewing the bad things as another avenue to get us to the next emotional/spiritual destination? Have you ever wondered why they call it Growing Pains? When is growth comfortable? Regardless of the pain involved “growth” is sorely needed.
For example, take corn for a minute. You first have to rip its skin open, peeling back and stripping off the inner golden hair-like fibers to reveal the beautiful, golden flesh within. How many times in our own lives, have we had to endure a pain that revealed, nay cultivated, the beauty within us? My point is… Pain serves a purpose – it’s our alarm telling us there’s beauty on the other side. Know it, go through it, persevere, reveal and be introduced to that stronger, more beautiful YOU.
I Salute the Wake of Pain for these reasons and many more – Thank You.
Although there is no such thing as “perfect” there is such a thing as perfect for another; as in one having the right cogs required to fit the groves of another’s heart and emotional complexities. I believe that whatever experiences we’ve endured, though painful, in life prepares our hearts for another. It tempers our spirit, readies emotions, directs our souls to intersecting places and creates a sensitivity that’s required to appreciate and understand another’s heart. It allows us to meet their needs in that area of health and healing on even, fertile ground. In the wake of painful experiences lies a “perfected heart” – battle scarred and beautiful.
Thank you for being you… frail, candid and beautiful in whom you are today and who you’re becoming.
I thank God for the beauty pain leaves in its wake and the overwhelming joy it brings. The poet in me, at first, thought to provide prose of my own, but decided to acquiesce to another whose words are far more eloquent than my own.
It seems as if every person I know & love is struggling with something that is challenging them at their very core right now. For all of us, I offer this small dose of high-frequency wisdom from the poem that better salutes the “Wake of Pain” it’s The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do (note: I go from “p” to “P” referencing Pain, the Spirit, likewise for Joy.)
On Pain: Khalil Gibran
And a woman spoke, saying, Tell us of Pain.
And he said:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know Pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore, trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burns your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.
Ken – thank you, again, for providing a platform for me to share my thoughts. =)
May Joy always find you – My two cents.
Living Life With No Regrets
The original post entitled Live Life With No Regrets was published in March. Here is the comment I’d like to share:
As always, thank you for these wonderful blogs and for sharing your soul with us.
Allow me to provide my viewpoint on “Living Life with No Regrets.” I would call it “The Rain and The Rainbow.” I think that somehow, somewhere within our psyche lays a bucket-list that we wrote long before we were born. Bear with me for a minute and try to hold your laughter.:) I believe that before we were born we sat down and listed out all the things we’d like to experience to varying degrees. I’ve listed a few here; some are metaphoric in dimension.
Thrown under a bus (Double Check)
And somehow through the course of our lives we either created or allowed ourselves to travel roads that would provide an opportunity for those experiences to present themselves. We did this to be able to enjoy the fullness of life. We did this “KNOWING” that we possessed the necessary RESOURCE(s) to overcome them, when needed, in order to be able to appreciate all that life has to offer; the Rain and the Rainbow.
So, as the title states “Living Life with No Regrets” speaks to our internal bucket-list, in my view. A life unfulfilled is indeed a regretful one. We are all running a race trying to check off as many things as we can before the end. Some, once here, venture to write one down attempting to capture all that they think they want to do before passing over to the great beyond. Remember… there was a time man thought the world was flat. People vainly make their lists from this side with a selfishly, skewed and failing eye of what life entails:
Sky Dive (Check)
Visit some exotic place (Check)
Get that fancy car (Check)
Be Famous (Check)
Have a high-profile career (Check)
Use a familiar catch phrase (Check) (I’ll be back), etc.
My point is whatever your station in life, the here and now. Live it! Enjoy it! Love the YOU that you are NOW! Embrace your wonderful imperfections…it is the task of the Potter to help us realize His beautiful creation and to call out the POTENTIAL within us all. He perfects the mold. Acknowledge your value; YES your worth! YOU are NOT trash; there is no LACK within your Spirit. You are a precious, precious BEING and if you happen to reach no notoriety, no fame and if no one proclaim your accolades. If all you’ve accomplished in this life is to bring ONE person some measure of JOY, a level of UNDERSTANDING and PEACE in a time of despair… then you’ve realize your potential. You’ve done what many have forgotten is the GREATEST of value by perfecting a ROI, you’ve been a BLESSING.
But…dearest brothers, if you find yourself still on this side of the veil there is one thing you (we) are not permitted to do. We are NOT permitted to rest on our laurels. We are not permitted to boast about the hungry we’ve fed or the one kind thing we did presenting ourselves, in the eyes of others, as some kind of great conqueror of deeds. Do not return empty handed after having buried your talents in the ground thinking it a good gift to offer up upon your return. If you are able to duplicate that blessing and create another and another and another DO SO. Squirrel away every good deed you can to your fellowman – STORE IT UP! Then go and create more, the more you create the more you’ll be ABLE to create by way of the circuitous nature of the good deed. Like a plant providing oxygen as it exhales after being watered.
Now let me share a little secret with you. When you squirrel it away time and time again, then when the RAIN comes, in the Rainy Seasons of your life, this stored up reciprocal-harvest will provide YOU with RAINBOWS. And you will always have a reserve to call upon even in your Driest Seasons – like manna from heaven.
Therefore if, for some reason, I don’t see tomorrow let me offer up this final petition in the presence of the most High God. May I come before you having left more than I’ve taken, having loved more than I’ve been offered love. May the few good deeds I’ve done before you compel your face to shine upon me. May the laughter I’ve created in others ring in your ears even now. Let me, Dear Lord, come to you having used up all of my POSSIBILITIES presenting to you an empty container. Let the talents you once gave me be shown to have increased in value and weight. Let the seeds I planted with my own hands be continuously watered by another in my stead – as I’m confident you’ll supply sunlight for them to grow. I won’t ask for time to spend another minute to say “goodbyes” to family, friends and children – for they know I love them. My soul will not weep for things left undone because you’ve blessed me with a fullness of a well-balanced life. I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, and I’ve stumbled and in doing so caused others to stumble behind me. I’ve dusted off and gotten up, time and time and time again. I’ve lost hope then you’ve returned it to me. I’ve shown and been shown compassion, forgiveness and favor. I’ve worked… rested and worked some more. I’ve had your company and conversations during the course of my travels – you’ve never left my side – what more could my soul desire. Except this one final request, in my passing let the final words that glide over my lips be those of gratitude and praise to you for giving me this wonderful experience; this amazing opportunity. And if there is a legacy that I could leave behind, let it be to always love my brother, my friends in kind. Amen.
One final thing, like the word NEWS is an acronym for North, East, West and South so too is LOVE. It means, Life Offering Valuable Execution.
The greatest Sorrow is Regret…
The greatest Gift is Forgiveness…
The greatest Power is Love.
May we all be so favored as to recognize and enjoy “The Rain and The Rainbow.”
May Joy always find you – My two cents,
Do you know what tomorrow will bring?
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring either, so I’m glad that I took the time to share my gratitude for this person today.
Will you share your gratitude for some today, or some time during Healthtember?
P.S. Health-tember has been going on for a week now. Are you using September as a month to focus on happiness and health? Check it out, get involved.
If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss a blog post, sign up for our newsletter.
Great post and what brilliant comments – almost articles in themselves. I have written a post on Gratitude a while back but I might update it for your Healthtember !
Thanks Sara, please share the link for your post on Gratitude. Always appreciate a further perspective.