I was on vacation last week, I swam in the sea for the first time in 15 – 20 years, I dived and then… my ears clogged. I was deaf for 3 days… well half-deaf to be precise.
Everyone who had that problem once knows how unpleasant this can be. You turn around from time to time to check if somebody stands behind you, you constantly ask “What?”, “What did you say?”, “Sorry I don’t understand you” and other things along those lines, that will sooner or later drive those people around you crazy and you kind of feel very veeeery isolated.
Whenever something like this happens, it comes to my mind what a great and beautiful gift it is to be able to hear, see, breath, feel, taste and smell. And that we should be grateful for that every single moment.
But in order to do that, you first have to notice what you really have. First of all you are alive, you breathe and if you’re able to read this: Congratulations! You don’t just have the ability to read, you also most probably own a computer, a chair, a home and that beverage I can see on your desk right there.
And this is just the start. If you would start writing a gratitude list – which I advise you to do from time to time – you would see that you almost can’t stop writing down things. It’s crazy how much we have and how many things we just take for granted.
So, the first step is to realize what you have and then the journey of being grateful starts. Even if you “lack” something, you’ll see there’s always stuff to be grateful for, something you’re better at than others, a hard-earned skill, a talent or whatever that may be.
For me, a great example has always been my grandmother. My grandma is deaf for almost her entire life now. So, we kids grew up with that and I don’t need to remind myself daily how blessed we are, because it’s kind of in my head constantly. Since we were born, we learned how to communicate with her – she’s able to read people’s lips if you only talk clearly enough – and to see how she deals with everyday life despite her handicap. Did she ever complain? ― Never! At least not when I was around. Instead she always kind of “bragged” with her incredible good sense of smell.
When she left on the gas of her old stove, for example, she would smell it much earlier than we ever could. Nature provided her with a substitute for her loss of hearing. She lost something, but also gained something instead and she learned to live with it. She learned to accept it and to be grateful for what she has instead of being bitter about what she lost or doesn’t have.
I think you got the idea by now. I would really advice you to write down a gratitude list at least once. It works real wonders!
Let me finish wish a great quote I just stumbled upon:
“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”