Thanksgiving as always been my favorite holiday. Not for the food, the family or even the Macy’s Day parade but because the focus of the event  is gratitude. I am that person at the table, annoying to some, who always asks everyone to share one thing they are grateful for.

In that spirit, and because this year I have learned so much and have much to be grateful for, I thought I’d share my list:

Rose by lobster20

Photo by lobster20 via

I am grateful to be alive. There are many times in this last year I did not feel this way when the chronic pain had me broken and wanting it to stop, even if that meant giving up.  Now, I feel joy in every day; I do not let pain define me.

I am grateful to have learned to accept the unacceptable; to keep breathing through those difficult moments, to stay fully present and not make up a story about what it means for tomorrow.  The truth is there is only this moment and there is great serenity in living in that.

I gratefully and graciously accept the fact that I am always healing, even when I am struggling to feel better. I had to learn to accept the disappointment of not healing on my timeline which has given me more patience.  In my mind my healing should have occurred months ago and when it didn’t I was devastated. Now I know healing is an ongoing experience that happens in degrees.

I am deeply grateful for the love and support of those around me. My illness taught me how to ask for what I need and I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by those who graciously met those needs, including many of you.

Finally, I am most grateful to have developed a loving, supportive relationship with me. This doesn’t mean I don’t have faults, I have many. What it means is that I have learned to be on my side no matter what and to be gentle, kind and compassionate with me each day. Struggles may come and go but I can face them because I am no longer  “a house divided against itself, ” so to speak.

There is more but these are the key elements of my daily gratitude. In the spirit of the season, I ask you, what are grateful for? I would love it if you would share it below so I can celebrate those moments with you.

Regardless of your struggles, you are a once in a lifetime creation. Celebrate your uniqueness!