I wrote this last year after doing a group with my client's in which I asked them to focus on what they are grateful for. As you may, or may not, know I am a therapist at rehab and work specifically with people that have addictions/co-occuring disorders. My clients were all in a negative space and were continually focusing on everything that was wrong in their lives- in order to get them into a more positive mind frame I had them write a gratitude list. After listening to them speak it made me think about my own life and what I am Thankful for ( I never ask my client's to do something that I am not willing to do myself) ~ I am sure I can go on and on… but here it is my list… It's a good exercise to practice no matter who you are and helps put life in perspective. After all you can spend all your time looking at everything you don't have or you can be grateful for everything that you do.
First off, I am thankful that I have parent’s who love me so unbelievably much, that raised me to be a quality person to be honest, to have morals and values and respect and to seek out the good in people. I am thankful to have parents that look forward to every time I come home, that welcome me with lots of food and who make me feel important.
I am grateful that I have a mother who loves me enough to call me to see how my day is going and worries when she doesn’t hear from me or if I don’t return her phone call (as if someone is going to steal me-haha). That I have a mom who is nurturing and loving, who believes in me, listens to me and who is also my friend.
I feel so fortunate to have a dad who always told me that I am smart and beautiful and can do anything I set my mind too, who taught me the meaning of integrity and that instilled in me the importance to think about other’s feelings. He makes me feel like I am a princess-every girl should feel like that around her father. One time, when my dad knew my heart wasn't in the right place, he drove down to see me every week for a month just to take me out to dinner because he wanted to make sure I was smiling. The sweetest!
I am thankful that I have a brother who I think is cool and smart. Who I can talk with and will tell me EXACTLY how it is, even when I don’t want to hear it.. but need too. He will tell when I am being a bitch or I am wrong… or right, but no matter what at the end of the day… he has my back.
I am grateful to have Aunts, Uncles, and cousins that I am close to, who love me, support me, and make me proud that I am a part of their family.
I am thankful for simply my health. That I can walk and talk, and breathe, that I have eyes that see, ears that hear, and a body that moves. I am grateful that I live with peace of mind and eternal optimism.
I am grateful to have an array of kick-ass friends that I love and respect so much. To have friends that accept me for who I am and who are genuinely good people. That I am fortunate enough to have friends that want only the BEST for me, see the BEST in me and remind me to NEVER settle for what I don’t deserve. I am Thankful to have friends that I can count on, friends that I can talk with for hours, who listen to me, laugh with, celebrate with, run and play with, friends that will bring me cheesecake and flowers to pick me up when I have fallen or simply to help me hang things in my apartment when I can’t seem to reach.
I am also thankful to not only have a job…but a career that I am passionate about & LOVE that humbles me and helps me develop empathy and compassion for others. I am grateful that I was actually able to achieve what I dreamed of being in life.
I am thankful to have the opportunity to go to work and help people better their lives a day at a time, but the truth is they better my life too because they push me and challenge me in ways no one else could. I am thankful to be able to work with addicts~ I find them fascinating- every single day my client’s teach me the meaning perseverance, humility, acceptance, hope, faith, patience, serenity and the power of forgiveness.
And lastly I am thankful for my memories, the journey and all my experiences for without them I would not be me and I would not grow. Even the negative one’s because through them I learn the lesson of what I DON'T want in life, what qualities I would NEVER want to manifest, the importance of treating people kindly and to appreciate the positive and to continue to seek out the best in people.
For all of this and so much more I am thankful. xoxo, V