I figured the holidays was a poignant time to bring up being grateful for what you already have. Be thankful for everything you have, your mind, your health (hopefully), your sense of being, your family, your friends, your favorite TV show, or whatever makes you happy or fulfilled. I find it rather odd how many people (I’ve observed this personally) go on and on about how their life sucks, but from another person’s perspective, it would be an amazing life, filled with rich experiences. Maybe it’s the whole concept of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But I find many people would rather complain about the things in their life that are going bad than give praise for everything in their life that is wonderful.
I realize that most people only do this exercise once a year, at Thanksgiving, and that’s sad because you can do it every day if you wish. Just take a minute out of your day and look closely at everything you have. Don’t think about what you want, but look at what you have. Maybe it’s a house, a car, a sense of inner peace, I don’t know. Realize how lucky you are to be in the situation you are in. Understand that you do have something. Then ask yourself, “What if I didn’t have all of these things?” And you’ll inevitably see that what you have is very important.
I have had this newfound appreciation for life for the last five years, ever since my brain cancer, and I do realize that had I been around in a different time period, I would either be dead or on life support. A ventricle in my brain would have burst and most likely killed me. I thank God, the universe, and luck that I was born in such a wonderfully medically endowed time such that I was able to not only survive, but to almost full capacity. Sometimes I may get down that I’m not at my complete full capacity, but then I remember how lucky I am to be here now. But I need to be reminded of this almost every day or I start to go negative again.
I have a co-worker who also suffered from a brain tumor. I have had many extensive conversations with him and he is a real motivator. He cherishes every second of his life like it’s gold, always being happy, positive, and grateful. Most people are scared off by his niceness, but I have come to embrace it. It is rather funny sometimes how over-the-top he goes, but it just shows his unbridled enthusiasm for life. He told me the story of one of his eight brain surgeries, where the doctor came out and said it was sincerely a “miracle” he survived. I’ll spare you the details because it gets rather long, but let’s just say the surgery had more than a 50% chance of killing him.
I guess the closer you get to death, the more you appreciate life. I remember him and his famous words, the ones he says to every customer that comes by, “It’s always a pleasure to help somebody else….always.” After awhile, it gets pretty redundant, but the message rings clear: he really does realize how lucky he is to be alive, and he’s awakened that in me as well, as I too remember how I felt when I initially overcame the cancer. “Having a life-threatening illness gives you a sort of enlightenment about life,” he tells me while we are waiting around for the next customer. And I agree with him whole-heartedly. He is an affirmation of my current beliefs.
Understand how lucky you are to be alive. How lucky you are to simply exist. Most times, people who haven’t been close to death cannot fathom what is means to be truly thankful for life, so I’ll put it this way: Cherish every second of your life because you never know when it is going to end.
Just take maybe a minute out of every day to say thank you. And once you’re grateful for what you already have, then you’re ready to start attracting new things into your life. But what I’ve found is that when you’re in a perpetual state of joy most of the time, you really don’t need anything else. Situations don’t bring you joy, but rather, you bring joy to the situations. I have found myself less attached to external success and more focused on internal success. As Eckart Tolle says, “If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”
I’ve come to the point where I accept myself fully for who I am. I understand. I am an embodiment of myself and do what I feel is right for myself and the world. I no longer conform to others’ standards, as I do not feel they are right for me. I realize how lucky I am to be here and through that, I choose to use my life to fully and completely spread my message throughout the world. And for this I am very thankful.