The Learning Curve of Gratitude

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Gettingalife
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The Learning Curve of Gratitude

listen here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11182405

Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote:I believe in what I learned at the grocery store.

Eight weeks ago, I was released from the hospital after suffering a pulmonary embolism. I had just finished a tour and a week after returning home, severe chest pain and terrible breathlessness landed me in the ER. A scan revealed blood clots in my lungs.

Everyone told me how lucky I was. A pulmonary embolism can take your life in an instant. I was familiar enough with the medical term, but not familiar with the pain, the fear and the depression that followed.

Everything I had been looking forward to came to a screeching halt. I had to cancel my upcoming tour. I had to let my musicians and crew members go. The record company, the booking agency: I felt that I had let everyone down.

But there was nothing to do but get out of the hospital, go home and get well.

I tried hard to see my unexpected time off as a gift, but I would open a novel and couldn't concentrate. I would turn on the radio, then shut if off. Familiar clouds gathered above my head, and I couldn't make them go away with a pill or a movie or a walk. This unexpected time was becoming a curse, filling me with anxiety, fear and self-loathing -- all of the ingredients of the darkness that is depression.

Sometimes, it's the smile of a stranger that helps. Sometimes it's a phone call from a long absent friend, checking on you. I found my lifeline at the grocery store.

One morning, the young man who rang up my groceries and asked me if I wanted paper or plastic also told me to enjoy the rest of my day. I looked at him and I knew he meant it. It stopped me in my tracks. I went out and I sat in my car and cried.

What I want more than ever is to appreciate that I have this day, and tomorrow and hopefully days beyond that. I am experiencing the learning curve of gratitude.

I don't want to say "have a nice day" like a robot. I don't want to get mad at the elderly driver in front of me. I don't want to go crazy when my Internet access is messed up. I don't want to be jealous of someone else's success. You could say that this litany of sins indicates that I don't want to be human. The learning curve of gratitude, however, is showing me exactly how human I am.

I don't know if my doctors will ever be able to give me the precise reason why I had a life-threatening illness. I do know that the young man in the grocery store reminded me that every day is all there is, and that is my belief.

Tonight I will cook dinner, tell my husband how much I love him, curl up with the dogs, watch the sun go down over the mountains and climb into bed. I will think about how uncomplicated it all is. I will wonder at how it took me my entire life to appreciate just one day.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

Patria
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Quote: What I want more
Quote:

What I want more than ever is to appreciate that I have this day, and tomorrow and hopefully days beyond that. I am experiencing the learning curve of gratitude.

I don't want to say "have a nice day" like a robot. I don't want to get mad at the elderly driver in front of me. I don't want to go crazy when my Internet access is messed up. I don't want to be jealous of someone else's success. You could say that this litany of sins indicates that I don't want to be human. The learning curve of gratitude, however, is showing me exactly how human I am.

Awesome. Thank you for posting this GaL.

dan1
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Time for gratitude.  Today

Time for gratitude. Today I am grateful for:

1. Hands and feet that work.

2. Eyes and ears that work.

3. Family who love me, who I love.

4. Friends, recovery buddies

5. The fellowship of OLGA

6. The peace and serenity I have gained so far

7. Food enough for today, and tomorrow.

8. Money enough for today.

9. The breeze outside; a place to live inside

10. All the good that my higher power has brought to me from things that have happened in my life (whether good or bad), and the good that is still to come. All my mistakes, bad decisions and defects; all my talents, good decisions and accomplishments. All part of me, the me that is loved and that can love and serve in return.

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

Gettingalife
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:) When I read this I felt I

:) When I read this I felt I could have written it. These days a simple trip to the grocery store can be ...well, a trip! Exchanges with strangers lately have been more satisfying than I remember them being in the past. For one thing it's because I've slowed down to recognize all these others are not merely obstacles in the course of my getting wherever I'm going. I regret to admit too much of my life has been spent that way. And the last two lines - "I will think about how uncomplicated it all is. I will wonder at how it took me my entire life to appreciate just one day." Yes, yes, yes. At any given moment all of us are in some stage of "recovery" from something, though these days it seems less about recovering anything to me but more about the continuing education of our souls.

And today I am grateful to feel and to feel deeply for others and for myself. That, too, hasn't always been the case. I spent a lot of life believing I felt too much and that being sensitive was somehow wrong. Sadly, I looked too often to others for guidelines, allowed others to define me when they were as lost as I was. I'm grateful to have learned we're *all* just travelers passing through.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

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