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Surviving With Gratitude by Sally Davis

April 10, 2017 by Sally


Gratitude becomes an important part of everyone’s life if we are able to recognize it, experience it and embrace it. It truly impacts how we view everything around us from a morsel of food we enjoy while mindful that there is someone else going hungry, to appreciating the ability to wash our hands knowing someone else doesn’t even have fresh water to drink, to something as huge as missing your train to work and therefore not being in the twin towers on 9/11… How we go about appreciating and recognizing the “gifts” in our life is a measure of the gratitude we feel for the good things and the challenges we experience from moment to moment as we walk through our days.

We should try to learn to identify a life’s teaching in gratitude when it presents itself…..

As a beautiful Sandpiper moved swiftly along the beach picking up morsels of food in the sand, keeping up with her friend, she was dodging the bigger birds as they flew at her, it became obvious she was different. There was something about her, the way she moved and hopped, upon looking closely it was then visible she only had one leg!! While her circumstances are unknown, what is realized is that she was a SURVIVOR, that she had faced her challenges and won!! Whether she arrived on this earth one leg short or she lost it along the way she had survived! She really was not different, not on the inside…not where it counts!!

Paulo Coelho said:

There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them.
 But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” 

She had accepted her lot in life, decided she would do what she had to, and she lived as though she had two legs, it didn’t “appear” to be hindering her. Was she grateful? She certainly looked so, she was singing along, hopping along, playing in the waters breaking edges and flying around, she wasn’t somewhere sitting and watching from a distance brooding!

What lesson can we all get from this? Let us stop and think about it for a minute. Many of us have a story, a challenge that was life changing, whether it’s a marriage breaking down after many years of being together, the loss of a job that was deemed secure and the inability to feed your family, or the sudden loss of someone from your life.

The thing is what do you do to survive, to make it through to the next day and the next. You have to first of all decide not to lose your mind and dig deep within yourself. You have to decide from a place of resolve within that you cannot do anything else but “to survive and be ok”!!

I truly believe women are hard wired genetically to survive and overcome challenges. But most times we do it at the expense of ourselves. Or we don’t quite know the depth of our strength until we are tested.

We do it alone, or with help from family and friends. I like to think of them as angels that sit on our shoulders and encourage us gently, or in full loud song.

How do we survive these situations, these challenges? Let’s discover how we do this, close your eyes and reflect on a situation that you have had to face that was particularly challenging that you came through! Think of how you felt when the situation arose but mostly think of how you came through it, what you did, and how you did it. And think of how you felt once you had survived. If you think about it any answer you choose can be linked to strength, empowerment, accomplishment, maybe even surprise. Surprise in realizing that you had it in you!

I loved Maya Angelou, I think she was such a wise and talented woman….she once said: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Change can come quietly or violently when you least expect it, sometimes even with such changes the end result can be beautiful, quite tolerable and just “enough”.

Often times when major changes come about especially when everything as you knew it changes, and I mean everything, and because of all the turmoil and angst experienced during the change, you may find that the one thing you most desire is peace, peace of mind. If you allow yourself to explore the possibilities of “gratitude identification, recognition and acknowledgement” from within yourself, you may find that peace of mind is closer than you ever imagined.