FTIAT: Gratitude for Small Things
Elizabeth (Mirth & Motivation) was one of the first bloggers I followed when I began blogging in early 2011. Even before I’d gotten the hang of reading blogs, I was readily absorbed into her entries for a few minutes at a time. Her life has been so full and varied, I frequently still read her posts and think, “What hasn’t she done, or experienced?!”
A year after first finding her, her aptly titled blog remains my go-to when I find myself in need of inspiration. It’s thus with great gratitude that I share her words here today.
Recommended post: Inspiration: Embracing the F Word
Gratitude For Small Things
When I received Deborah’s first email about participating in this wonderful exercise – writing an FTIAT entry – on one thing we are grateful for, quite a number of possible topics with positive outcomes crossed my mind. Should I write about my life altering moments? How about the travails and triumphs of an immigrant woman? Or maybe Deb’s readers would love to hear about the challenges of raising multiples? Perhaps I should focus on my complicated childhood? You see, all of those events had elements that led me to a place of gratitude but none seemed quite right for the task. As 1001 ideas flashed through my mind, a little voice, still and quiet, kept prodding me to step back from the broad brush strokes I wanted to paint, to step back from the big picture, and focus on the gratitude that comes from small things; help from unexpected sources, parking spots that materialize last minute, missing items that resurface on a prayer and the seemingly simple act of taking a breath.
To appreciate the grace in small details, I’ll share a story from one of those life altering events. In my mid 30s, I had open heart surgery to correct a congenital defect. The surgery was successful but the road to that event was complex. I had no idea that the condition existed. As an active, fit person, my heart had never given me problems. But one day, I started feeling tired, dizzy and short of breath. It took multiple tests, several medical opinions and inconclusive results before my cardiologist sent me to a pediatric heart specialist. Yes, it took a simple test and the keen eyes of a children’s doctor to detect the small defect… The doctor assured me that even though my condition could have killed me by age 13, over the years, I had been guided to take small steps, make small lifestyle shifts, perform simple tasks that helped extend my life. Breathwork, jogging, low impact exercise, dance, yoga and meditation, a vegetarian diet, regular checkup and treatments for ordinary colds all contributed something to help my heart hold on. I also believe that the simple act of prayer and a positive spirit had an impact too.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault
From as early as I can remember, I’ve always loved prayer; both loud invocations and quiet contemplative prayers. As a little girl, I found that saying a prayer had a calming effect and gave me the clarity I needed to tackle all sorts of situations; often with startling results. In my adult
life, I still turn to the calming power of a simple prayer again and again. For instance, recently I was getting ready to take one of my kids back to college and, as we gathered up bags and headed for the car, I realized I didn’t have my glasses. I wear them to drive and needed to find them right away. In a hurry, I looked in all the usual places but they were not there. I searched the living, dining, and kitchen areas and came up empty. The clock ticked away and frustration was starting to set in. Then I stopped. I stood in front of the dining table, held my hands up in prayer and said quietly: Dear God, please help me find my glasses. As I uttered the last word, my gaze shifted, and I caught a glimpse of a gold, metal piece. I stepped towards it to retrieve it, and sure enough, it was my glasses. They had fallen behind a cushion on the sofa and even though I had looked there earlier in my search and didn’t see anything, there they were and my gratitude for such a small thing was … huge. I am grateful for the gratitude that comes from small things.
Elizabeth Obih-Frank believes in positive kismet/fate and writes two blogs; Mirth and Motivation and Positive Kismet where she shares motivational, goodwill pieces and more. She is a mom to twins, a master trainer/educator, writer, healer, and social media fan. She loves people, a good laugh, good food and an occasional jaunt around the world.
last : The Far Side of Sanity and Back Again: An Evolution in Thank You | The Power of Words to Reconnect A Life (6/8/12) : next