Contributed by Darlene Mars
(November’s Key to Gratitude Contest Weekly Winner)
For me, the key to gratitude is recognizing that absolutely everything that is happening in my life is a sacred gift. All experiences up until now, have converged to teach me, whether through pain or pleasure, how to live this life with greater reverence.
I have hurt. I have been hurt. I have loved. I have been loved. I have experienced the merry-go-round of marriage, friends, business, and life. I have been the perpetual pleaser, the puppet, the one celebrated and the one criticized. I have unknowingly used partnership as a place to hide and used friendship as a place to be validated.
At this present moment, all of life humbles me. I know the hard moments were not punishment and the great moments were real but fleeting. My whole existence is memorizing as I see every moment as more than bad or good but breathtakingly inspiring.
Once life has cracked you open, and I mean really cracked you open, you are forever changed. I am that. Forever changed. I know this life is not about how I am perceived, what dogma I attach myself too, how successful I am at my job or if I am winning valedictorian of life.
I am simply in awe. My connections with people have evolved and my gratitude for being in this human body with the insight I hold now, transforms my every moment into what feels like grace. When I regress, I stop seeing, I stop recognizing – that is all. When I ask myself to see the relevant and recognize what has shown up in my life, I stop judging and start appreciating the journey again.
I don’t find gratitude difficult at all these days. I experience it when I turn the volume of my criticism down and recognize that (1) Nothing random is ever shown to me, (2) Our personal connections matter most, and (3) This life is a blessing and I am honored to have taken so many missteps and have the privilege to learn another day.
Our monthly gratitude contest is well underway and we’ve picked our third winner! She’ll be receiving a free Love That Works giftset! You still have time to send in your entry. We would love to see it and you might even win! Until then, please read the wonderful winning entry for inspiration. And a warm shoutout to everyone who’s entered this week. Your gratitude warms our hearts!