Monday, February 23, 2015

ponderings on gratitude

Gratitude is such an important concept in my life. I try everyday to think of things to be grateful for and to be honest many days it's the same things over and over. I can not stop being grateful that the Universe saw fit to partner me with my soulmate and best friend or to be the guiding force for 2 young souls that show me so much about the world and myself. Just the family I live with is enough to be grateful for everyday.

Does that mean everything in our family is perfect? Of course not! We fight, argue, cry, make up, ignore each other and do all those little things that drive each other crazy every day, but and this a big BUT - we remember always that we love each other and we apologize like crazy and try to do better. This is something I am oh so grateful for - that we can accept each others shortcomings and forgive, forgive, forgive.

Making amends, or asking for forgiveness, is a very important part of any 12 step program, but I think that forgiveness itself is just as important. Even if the person we are making amends to is unable or unwilling to forgive us, we have to forgive ourselves in order to move beyond the circumstances and feelings of the situation we are making amends for. I hope that makes sense. In our family, I have no qualms whatsoever about making amends to my children for my shortcomings as a mother or a human being. I ask their forgiveness and when they inevitably give it to me, I have to take the next step and forgive myself as well.

There are a few instances as a mother that I have fallen very short of my own expectations - times I feel I've really messed up. I've apologized to my children, to my Higher Power, even to my spouse and all have forgiven me, took me so much longer to forgive myself. I have great gratitude that my family seems to forgive me so easily and I'm grateful that after quite a few years I've finally managed to forgive myself for some of these failings. That doesn't make it easier though. I still carry some of that baggage around. And to be honest I find myself grateful for that as well. Sometimes the load we carry can teach us very important lessons - lessons of humility, self worth, joy in letting go, love, and hope.

So today I'm grateful. Grateful for my Higher Power - that Universal Love that lifts me higher and reminds me I'm worth something. Grateful that the Universe has gifted me with such a wonderful loving family to be of service to. Grateful for my baggage and the lessons I learn carrying it and putting it down.


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