In going through the process of packing up my belongings, preparing my house to sell and hoping I get enough out of the deal to pay off my debts so I can avoid bankruptcy, I have come to realize something about myself. Something that’s not especially good. Something that is actually fairly ugly. I’ve come to see that I don’t do gratefulness very well.It’s not that I’m not grateful. But when I need something good to happen, I’m so fearful that the worst will happen instead, I am not prone to being thankful before the fact like a lot of people I know. I don’t have an optimistic outlook. I don’t expect things to work out well for me. So I find myself cringing, waiting for whatever is going to go wrong. And when something goes right, I am relieved, but still fearful and wary. And therefore, I don’t take the time I should to be thankful for the good.
It also feels as if the good things don’t really belong to me. As if, if the universe takes note that something positive has happened in my sector, it will probably take it back. So I tend to not celebrate those good things because I don’t want to have to return them and accept what I truly deserve, which is nothing. Or bad things. Because I’m worthless and bad and don’t deserve anything good at all, ever. I missed publishing last week because the move was grueling. And I didn’t have internet access until late in the week. I’m typing with my laptop sitting on a file cabinet, with no place for my knees, my back hunched and my shoulders crying painfully. I’m grateful to have internet access at last. It’s my lifeline. I depend on it for a million different things. But I forget to be grateful for what I do have because I don’t yet have a place to put my computer that doesn’t cause me pain. Because I can’t print and only the bare basics work at the moment. And because everything isn’t “fixed” and there are so many issues to overcome, I miss the little good things or don’t properly acknowledge and celebrate them. Having realized this, I’m trying to change. I’m trying to be grateful for every box I am able to break down after it has been emptied and its contents have been stowed away in their new home. I’m noticing the little things more. When my dogs play (they didn’t for awhile…the move was traumatic to them too), when I get something organized well, when I hang a picture I love, when a piece of furniture can be moved into place, when I find something I’ve been needing and searching for. It would be so easy to focus on what I have lost, what I have had to give up and give away, how little space I have, how I’m living in a city where I don’t want to live, how I don’t have a job or money and how frightening it is to be in this position at my age. There are a plethora of things I could keep reviewing that lead me away from gratefulness and keep me from appreciating what I do have. What do I have? Well, it isn’t much, but it’s huge. I have a brother who felt so strongly about keeping me from being homeless that he bought the house across the street from his and is letting me live here as I try to put my life back together again. Without his intervention, I would have had nowhere to go. That is a major expression of love and certainly something to be wildly grateful for. I have the two best little dogs ever created. I don’t know how I lucked out and got to be their mom, but they are the sweetest, most snuggly, most wonderful little Schnauzers a person could possibly dream of loving and caring for. Thought I don’t like the city, I am now close to my family. It’s nice to have someone close by who actually cares about me. I’m reconnecting with old friends…friends who may actually want to see me from time to time. My car may be old, but, knock on wood, it’s still running. I may be old, but, knock on wood, I’m still running too. No major health issues in spite of an active eating disorder, age, a lifetime of depression. And I do have internet access, even if I’m hunched over and in pain. If my old house actually does close next week, I will be able to pay off my debt. That is truly something to be thankful for. I never thought that day would come. So though I don’t have much, not having debt will be a major blessing. I’m going to work on being grateful. In spite of having grown up in a quagmire of abuse that has nearly destroyed me. In spite of depression. In spite of my eating disorder. In spite of my joblessness and limited prospects. In spite of my inadequate financial situation. In spite of having nothing but the possessions within this small house. In spite of having to come to this city where I am now living.
I’m finding that I have a brother and sister-in-law who love me, in spite of the fact that I’m not worth loving. I don’t understand it. But, oh my, I am grateful, I am so very grateful. If I focus on that, the rest doesn’t seem to matter nearly as much.