Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Moral Support

This topic is one that frequently lands high on my list of things for which I am grateful.  Unlike my first yearlong effort on this blog, where I tried to come up with something new each day without repeating anything, I am not placing such constraints on the entries this time.  I expect this is going to be a topic of reflection again throughout the next year (or whatever period I choose to write).

As the events of the past few weeks play back in my head (a daily – and sometimes hourly – occurrence), it cannot escape my conscious thought that I have made it through the challenging parts as well as I have because of the moral support of my friends.  I am confident they already know how thankful I am (I’ve told them).

But I also consider how lucky I am that I have a few close friends on whom I can rely.  My heart goes out to those who are truly alone and have no one to help them along.  I also empathize with those who may be in a relationship, but whose partner is not supportive or understanding.  In all, I’m very fortunate to have the people in my life who make an effort to make sure I’m OK and who affirm my soul.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Little (Accidental) Gifts

I was surprised today by a message someone sent me that clearly was intended to hurt my feelings.  Something unexpected happened: I was not offended, much less hurt; in fact, it made me laugh.  Its content was so juvenile that it surprised me.  I had been agonizing over the situation I was in with this individual, and then he dropped a little bomb on me that bounced.  And bounced and bounced.  It was funny.  I felt a weight was lifted off my chest; I could breathe.  The escape hatch opened, and I stepped through with ease into a space where the light was shining all around me and I was free to move on.  His note was my vehicle. 
Suddenly, the author of this message was in my rear view mirror – very small and distant, insignificant – and he had no further effect on my emotions.  It was as if I had just spent the last month with my feet stuck in mud only to have been pulled out of my shoes and sent rocketing into my future in one movement.  I was flying; I was free.

It was a gift he gave me – a little accidental gift, borne of malice – that brought light to what started as a very dark day.  He has no idea just how glad I am.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Today, I am grateful for clarity.  Although it came in a form that was uncomfortable, it confirmed what I had observed before, and it helped me to move forward.  While growth is rarely a comfortable thing, I know it is necessary, so I guess I grew a little today.  The part that I know is beneficial is knowing I’m growing in the right direction.  I can take some comfort in that.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Drinking Buddies

I am grateful for friends and co-workers who join me for happy hour just for the camaraderie.  We don't drink to excess, we just talk and laugh and have a good time together.

It was another day where the recent past really didn't come to mind, and it ended with a few beers, good laughs, and even a few hugs.  I'd say that's enough.


Thursday, March 5, 2015


I've been contemplating all day about what I could write in today's entry in my gratitude blog.  It's not that there isn't anything to mention - I am grateful for many things, but they all seem too trite to discuss in a blog.  And then it dawned on me....

In the last 24 hours, I have had no drama.  No waves of overwhelming emotion, no moments of anger, no heartache.  It's the first day in a month that I didn't feel shattered, or even cracked.  It was the first "normal" day I've had in a couple months, really.

The day was almost boring, and I'm relieved.  I don't know if it's time healing wounds or that I'm simply going numb; but whatever it is, I'm happy about it.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Laugh

It felt good to laugh at myself today.  That I can is an accomplishment after the month I've had.  I'm grateful for humor, and to those who provide it.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Coming Back to Gratitude

I have decided to return to this blog and begin paying attention to the positives again.  The end of my most recent relationship has pushed all the familiar buttons, and I am again facing the possibility of being single for the rest of my life.  While this prospect is probably the most horrifying thought I can imagine, it is also real, and I need to refocus my view onto things that feel good, if only to mask the pain that comes with loneliness. 

Even though the year I spent more than two years ago writing about gratitude didn't always make me feel better in the moment, it did provide a brief time each day where I was contemplating something positive, and I still think it was helpful.  I am uncomfortable when I feel angry, lonely, sad, and bitter; though I often feel these emotions, I believe they are outside my “norm” (or, at least, are not included in what I want in my conscious time).  I do not believe I am depressed  at least not in the clinical sense. At this point, I want to express these feelings somewhere so I can let them out, expel them from my body and mind, never to return.  …Well, that is what I hope for, but, in truth, they do return.

What I do not want is platitudes (“Everything is darkest before the light;” “Love comes when you’re not looking;” “Something better is just around the corner”) because platitudes are selfish.  They are annoying most of the time and said by people who don’t know what else to say, are themselves uncomfortable with the sadness they perceive, and/or they currently have someone to love who loves them back and they don’t remember how loneliness feels.  Well-intended people offer a platitude to make themselves feel better.  Platitudes rarely, if ever, lessen the darkness for the one in pain.

I think the best way to support someone who is hurting emotionally is to listen, and then only say, “I know what it is like to be in that place, and you are not alone.”  Do not try to fix anything.  Do not try to cheer him up.  Whatever you do, do not try to point out how others have it worse or how the present isn't as bad as it might be.  Just be with him. 

In this light, I want to acknowledge my best friend, Stephanie.  I know I can call on her when I need an empathetic ear, and who can give me the right kind of gentle perspective when I ask for it.    She cares enough to send a quick message to check in; she pays attention and helps me feel like I’m not completely alone.  I am grateful for her wisdom and support.

That’s what I’m grateful for today.