Recently I viewed this amazing Ted Talk by Brene Brown on Vulnerability: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html. I hope you will take the time to watch it at some point through its entirety. In her summary she speaks about practicing gratitude during moments of terror and unknown. In the past several weeks I have faced terror and unknown over and over: my father in law had a stroke and his prognosis remains unknown; T has been in surgery and recovering and will have surgery again. It’s not the surgery that is terrifying for me; it’s the hospital and the sick people and all those icky thoughts that come with it. I have this new job that is exciting and life-giving in many ways, but also terrifying in its newness and uncharted waters. And at times, when I have those really anxious moments, it seems like this terror and unknown feeling will last forever. So, in the spirit of Brene Brown I was thinking about all of the people, places, and things I was grateful for in spite of these questioning, tough times. The result is my public letter of gratitude, dedicated to family and friends who are far and near but always close to my heart.
Dear God, (and/or Universe, Mother Nature, Higher Power than Me)
THANK YOU. Thank you for every time you have interceded and placed in front of me a family member or friend who will entertain my phone calls, emails, voicemails, and texts at all hours of the day in search of comfort, commeraderie, connection, encouragement, and humor during challenging times. Thank you for reminding me that prayers are answered in every which way EXCEPT for the way that I envisioned. (After moving so many times, I prayed once for a close circle of friends that I can rely on and talk to all of the time. I thought that meant in my neighborhood like Sex in the City style. Instead I have this circle of trust that spans the U.S. and it is pretty awesome. On that same note, a friend called yesterday after Travis’ surgery and offered to bring over lunch for us. WOW) Thank you for never judging me. Thank you for giving me the space to have conversations about faith and God, and providing such strong examples of having faith in my life, namely my Dad, sister, and a friend Drea. Thank you for pistachio ice cream. Thank you for every day that I have had a moment of laughter, which honestly is usually EVERY DAY, even if it’s been a “bad day.” Thank you for the beautiful family that I am a part of, and the expansion with our nieces and nephews. Thank you for yesterday morning when T and I were both awake at 4a.m., and instead of trying to go back to sleep we watched reruns of Downton Abby and talked about how awesome it was to be there in bed and not at the hospital. Thank you for chocolate chip cookies from Dolce Bakery. Thank you for the opportunities, both missed and taken, that gently reminded me that is how it was meant to be all along. Thank you for the grace you surrounded me with during all the times I couldn’t accept it. Thank you for this experience called life, and allowing me to be vulnerable. (or least learning to be!)