I am grateful. 

It was four years ago that I thought my life was over. I was given a death sentence. I could not fathom how I might ever be thankful for what life had just dished out. To my friends. To my family. Most of all…to me.

Life had not been fair. For 56 years, I had my share of struggles. Most of them I did not ask for, but they seemed to find me. And now, I was going to die.

“Six months. A year. Two, if lucky,” the doctor said.

The Universe had other plans.

That was four years ago.

What I have learned in these four years is that none of us really knows as much as what we think we know. We are not as smart as our education level might predict. Whatever the statistics may suggest may not come to pass.

No matter how difficult the situations in life may be, we can still be grateful for the experiences that will give us a new outlook…a new meaning for the life we live, and the odds that we may overcome.

Through the challenges and struggles faced in life, possibilities are presented to us in ways we never dream can give us joy, and show us the strength we possess at our very core.

All of life matters…and EVERYTHING transforms us.

The lessons are many…

Slow down. Be in the now. Love openly. Forgive. Breathe deeply. Keep moving forward. Don’t look back. Live mindfully. Show passion for life.

Tell your stories…they are beautiful, and complex.  Maybe even complicated.  But they matter, and need to be told.

So, I thank the Universe for showing me that I can keep going. And I will do my best to tell my stories with an open, grateful heart.

Artist: Coral Levang, 2015 Transformative Painting
Artist: Coral Levang, 2015
Transformative Painting

  17 comments for “Gratefulness

  1. Bill Kasman
    April 14, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Having survived two potentially life-threatening medical issues myself I fully agree with your paragraph here – ”Slow down. Be in the now. Love openly. Forgive. Breathe deeply. Keep moving forward. Don’t look back. Live mindfully. Show passion for life.” – and would add that staring into the eyes of the grim reaper really brings a sense of perspective into our lives!

    • April 14, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      Oh, Bill! I appreciate these words: “…staring into the eyes of the grim reaper…brings a sense of perspective…!” No matter what our age, it is in these lightning bolt moments that we (hopefully) grow into a bit more decency and kindness.

  2. Barbara Radisavljevic
    April 14, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Great job on your first post. I hope you will keep sharing stories from your heart for a long time to come.

    • April 14, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you, Barb! I thought that one of the blogs need here for me, and for others, was one that talks of gratefulness/thankfulness. I want it to be simply about looking at situations for what they are and seeing the blessings that can come from them, and being thankful. I have other blogs in mind, as well. It will take some time to sort it all out, and I will likely move some posts from my other blog and put here to manage them better. I am excited about this site. 🙂

  3. April 15, 2016 at 12:57 am

    Good to see you here.You have started with a very apt topic-Thankfulness.I am looking forward to reading more from you. I am sure you have more in store for us.

  4. April 15, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Very wise advice my friend. I too am very grateful.

  5. April 15, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Welcome to Blogjob! I don’t know when or whether I’ll be online regularly again, but would like to add you to my “friends” feed when I’m online.

    • April 16, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Hi @priscillaking ! Good to be here, and will have to spend some time here trying to figure it all out. LOL Good to see you, too!

  6. April 17, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Great post and I also loved the part @kasman mentioned in his comments. It is great to have you here and I look forward to more articles from you.

    (Sorry, if I sound rude but is your article 300+words?That’s a minimum word limit here.)

    • April 18, 2016 at 11:32 pm

      Thanks, Gulrukh! And yes, according to the counter, it was 303 words.

  7. Meg
    April 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Gratitude and thankfulness are highly important. I never realised just how important they are until I was older.

    • April 28, 2016 at 1:55 am

      I think it takes an “a-ha” moment of some sort. Sometimes, it takes some of longer than others. I know that I didn’t really get it like I do now until I was 50ish, and I am still learning, Meg.

  8. April 26, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Good evening Coral. As an ex registered nurse I read your post with rapture. It is essential to be grateful, I will agree. But I have to admit that with my past experience as a nurse, I have seen so much pain, suffering and death that I wonder about gratefulness and thankfulness. I hope I am not offending you but I became a bitter pessimist over the years. But it is nice to see you here from persona paper and I am looking forward to your other posts here and on your cooking blog. Again, I apologize if I have offended you.

    • April 28, 2016 at 2:04 am

      Francine…No, I’m not offended easily, and I can appreciate your viewpoint. There are times I wonder about “why?” and I have some theories about that. Why is it that some seem to get “so much pain, suffering…” and in their deaths, whether emotionally or physically, why they could possibly feel anything other than bitterness. About five years ago (the year before my diagnosis with stage 4 cancer), I had an epiphany that helped me to see why I had to let go of the emotional bitterness. I was nearly 55. I’ll share that story sometime. But I do “get it,” based on past experience (though not nursing). Rest assured, not a Pollyanna view of life here with me. But an optimistic realist. If I could not see something good in all of the crap, then I would have taken my life many times over. Again…I so appreciate your sharing here. Looking forward to seeing you here more.

  9. April 28, 2016 at 2:44 am

    great advice, I just wrote an article on the people that I am grateful for.

    • April 28, 2016 at 4:06 am

      I will have to try to find it. Still learning how to navigate here. Need to spend more time on it!

  10. April 30, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    This post is really enlightening! I am sorry to hear you have suffered a lot, but glad that you are seeing it from a grateful and positive view.

    “Slow down. Be in the now. Love openly. Forgive. Breathe deeply. Keep moving forward. Don’t look back. Live mindfully. Show passion for life.” – Thanks to my children, I have started to learn these lately too, since I became a mother. Being a mom is really a blessing to me, because I started to realize my calling, my real self and my purpose in life.

    Hope your health is much better and you are doing well now. 🙂

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