This is what happens when you plan to do anything on a daily basis: it just doesn’t happen. Yes, I am still focusing on being more thankful, but posting daily just isn’t in the cards for me. Here’s the rest of the quote that inspired the title of this post:
Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence. — Buddha
Here’s another good one about gratitude:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. — Melody Beattie
So I am thankful that I am a human being with a mind, body, and soul and that I do not have to merely respond to my instincts. I can choose.
Yes. Because this is how it feels to be forgiven and to also forgive. Holding onto hurt and expectations from others feels like this:
Add to that all that we usually do: try to look good, wear the right clothes, look people in the eye, have a smile on our face, maintain kindness and graciousness. Add all of that to having to balance that big old load on your shoulders and it’s even harder.
So which do you choose? Maybe that other person could do more. Maybe that situation should have been handled differently. But that didn’t happen. You have what you have, so just do what you can and go on. Forgive. Move on. Drop the load of could have-should have and just be. Stand in the rain with your face up and feel it all.
I am thankful that I have been forgiven and that others are helping me learn to forgive.
I’m thankful for knitting. I’m thankful for the fact that in short bursts of time, I can still create something. I thankful for the homey feeling it gives. I’m thankful for the connection it gives me with women across time and space. Women who, like me, have been able to provide for their families; who cared for and nurtured the others in their lives.
I am thankful for the rhythmic chink, chink or swoosh, swoosh of the needs as they weave the yarn. I’m thankful for the back-and-forth and back-and-forth of the yarn.
I’m thankful for beautiful, fun yarn that allows very basic stitches and patterns to take on a whole new life. I am also thankful for gentler, subtler colors that provide visual serenity in a chaotic world.
And YOU are probably thankful that I knit too. 🙂
No, it’s not November, but I need an attitude adjustment so I’m committing to doing forty days of thankfulness.
Today, I am thankful for the lives of my five children. I have six, you know, but one — our first — didn’t have a life on this earth. Twenty-five years ago today, I gave birth to a full term stillborn daughter. Her little body looked perfect, but something must have been wrong. It was a terrible way to begin adulthood and marriage and parenting. Absolutely heartbreaking. As always, God provided wonderful friends who journeyed through the valley with us, but to this day, October 10th cannot roll around without memories and tears.
Her middle name — Ananda — is a Sanskrit word that means, happiness, the happiness that’s sought in all feelings and desires. That happiness is not a passing state of mind. It is not a ‘happy’ state of satisfied desire, alternating with ‘unhappy’ states where desires fail to be achieved. When we speak of ‘happiness’, the suffix ‘-ness’ implies a common principle. That principle is common to both happy and unhappy states. Happiness is just that principle of value which both happy and unhappy feelings show.
Or in Christian terminology, it means joy. Madeleine L’Engle said it well, “The complete joy in living without which the universe would fall apart and collapse.”
The two names together came from Boston’s song Hollyann.
It’s a hippie song.
Of course at the time, I had no idea that I would have five more children. Three more daughters, two sons. The next pregnancy was pretty terrifying. Carefully watched, carefully guarded. Beautifully completed. Then we opted for home birth. I don’t know that I would have chosen that route if I hadn’t felt a need to reclaim birth as a victory instead of something that had been painful and seemed to defeat me. I needed to engage it; look it straight in the eye; be it. And I was thankful to be able to do that and to hold those babies and raise those babies and see them become the amazing people they are.
I hope that they, too, will make the dark into light . . . see the wrong and the right . . . be for life and never concede it.