Posted by: sistermom1 | December 6, 2011

Expressing gratitude

There was a time when expressing appreciation  to another person left me feeling weak — beholding to the other person  like I owed them something.  This health detour has helped me realize that this is far from the truth.  Expressing my appreciation to whomever is helping me is a real opportunity to connect as a human being with another person.  Connecting to say “Thank you” is a very special, powerful and important thing.  It was rare that I actually looked someone in the eye to acknowledge something that they did for me.  A cursory “Thank you” when someone held a door for me, or handed me something that I needed was the norm for me, even with my own family.

This detour has reminded me to take the time to connect and thank the other people who I am blessed to have in my environment.  I used to value my independence so deeply — often at the expense of expressing my appreciation.  Rather than begrudge it, I am starting to see how great it is that others are willing and able to help me move through the world, and that it is a gift for me to be able to offer assistance to others. 

My life is not at all like I planned or expected, but as Winston Churchill said “Plans are useless, but planning is invaluable.”  I had never heard this quote before, and  as a person with a habit of planning all of the time, I was really surprised by this thinking.  So much of what I used to do and how I used to live revolved around planning.  It made me feel like I was in control of my life.  MS has SO relieved me of this belief.  There is so much that is out of my control in my day — How much energy do I have?  Who’s schedule is open to help me today?  Will my legs support me today?  How cold/warm am I today?  What about my spasticity?…   Planning has been so much a part of my life that even my kids tease me about the way that I start each morning asking  “What’s your plan for the day?”.  I have always been about planning and being in control of the day, because I do believe that how you start the day determines much about the type of day you are destined to have.  Now that so much of my life is outside of my control, I don’t quite know how to handle it — since I still want to accomplish so much in my day. 

Planning made me feel in control of my life.  What a wrong belief that was.  Having a plan is great, but a plan should also leave me open to the  many things in the day that can and will change.  The act of planning is an important step for me — it gets my mind going, sets me to thinking, and focused on the things that I want to accomplish.  However, I have realized that just because I have planned a particular outcome, doesn’t mean that it will turn out that way.  Sometimes it does, and that is worth celebrating.  Sometimes it doesn’t, and I am becoming more OK with celebrating the fact that there are times (many!) when the wisdom of the universe is far greater than mine.

I am determined to have gratitude for the positive things that are happening in my life every day.  I am paying more attention to what is happening – whether or not it matches my plan.  Expressing appreciation has given me power — and has  enabled me to attract more supportive experiences.  Thank you for reading this blog!  Have a wonderful holiday season — Happy Channukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year!



  1. I so enjoyed this post. I am always trying to find the positive in every situation, no matter how difficult.

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