Life is strange… It’s strange because shit happens, things blindside you and sometimes there are no right answers and no clean outcomes. It’s certainly strange for a plethora of other reasons; our very existence is strange if you stop and consider it… but I digress. Today I’m focused on that no right answer, sudden happenstance strangeness that occasional blinds many of us. Those moments when finding gratitude seems impossible.
Finding Gratitude in Graves Disease was Difficult
Graves Disease was a strange arrival that seemingly appeared overnight, but upon reflection was truly creeping in slowly for ages before it aggressively took over. It presented me with no perfect options and no right answers, flipped my life on its head and left me with an ultimatum – struggle against me and be miserable or accept me and deal with the ups/downs/frustrations/joys and just plain weirdness of a chronic illness as they come. The experience was many things, but strange and unexpected are certainly adjectives I’d add to the list.
The strangest part? While I’d certainly accept a cure, I’m glad all of this happened. I’m glad! I like who I am. I’m happy with the person I’ve become, the things I’ve done, the experiences I’ve opened myself up to.
Getting to this point wasn’t easy. It took a lot of time and effort (and tons of reflection).
Graves Disease forced me to unravel. And that vulnerability allowed me to change, grow and rebuild. I’m truly grateful, something I never could have anticipated in the beginning. Vulnerability can sometimes be the greatest opportunities for us to grow.
Since then life has continued to be strange. Some of that strangeness has been incredibly good, while sometimes it has been frustrating, devastating and/or befuddling. There have been many instances where none of the options made available to me have been ideal.
But I’ve realized something… regardless of how I felt at the time, all of the choices I’ve made have led me here.
And I like it here. Those choices I made, even when the situation was difficult and none of the options presented me with actual solutions, they’ve all turned out OK and they’ve all led me to a good place.
I had to remind myself of this recently as I faced two crappy choices in a crappy situation with only crappy outcomes (crap cubed). It all seemed to add up to crap. And I struggled to make a decision; one option broke my heart and the other led to a ton of discomfort. But I had an epiphany that ultimately helped me to make a decision (with confidence!)
I have made many unique choices in my life, but I have never led myself astray. In the end things balance out and I’ve made it through OK, with a story and a bit more wisdom to take along with me.
Every decision you’ve ever made has led you here.
Every situation, even the crummy ones, have shaped you. Remember this! I love who I have become, which has led me to realize that, despite my feelings during times of difficulty, I have never truly let myself down. I trust myself. And someday this strange situation may be yet another experience I am strangely grateful for.
Ultimately you cannot control all of the ebbs and flows of life. You will be blindsided on occasion, things will surprise you, excite you, devastate you… and they will all shape you into sometime more. Love yourself, trust yourself, and keep moving forward. These strange times may very well be experiences you will one day be grateful for.
Need help finding gratitude in the strangest of places? A gratitude journal can be a huge help! This daily ritual of self-love can change your life. Gratitude Journal: 100 Days of Gratitude Will Change Your Life by the brilliant Natalie Fox can help as you find your way down the path towards a grateful mindset.
Now it’s your turn – tell me about an experience you feel strangely grateful for in the comments. What awkward moments have ultimately shaped you into the marvelous being that you are?
Health and love,
Thought of the day: I am a collective of my experiences. The good, the bad and the strange have all shaped me into the marvelous person that I have become… and so, I am grateful for it all.