Thankful By Choice

Every single day I have a choice. I can choose to see what I want to see.

Every day for over a year this truck parked directly in front of the door that goes into the elevators at my work. It was blocking the door for 💯’s of other people even when there are 💯’s of other parking spaces. Every day I would get irritated at why they couldn’t they see how far forward they were. None of the other 4 parking garage floors had a car in front of the door.

I even took pictures of it and would post them on my Facebook page to show how irritated I was. Now, 4 years later; it’s completely insignificant. In fact, it seems ridiculous that I wasted the energy on it.

I mean, It helps that I don’t have to walk by it everyday too. But I also have had much larger problems to deal with. When you start having to worry about life or death matters, things like trucks and material items don’t even compare.

These days, I have learned I can choose to notice how self-serving people are.

When an elevator door opens, the people waiting to get on immediately head in with no regard to those getting out- paying no attention to this “societal “rule. Then there’s traffic. Everyone just trying to meet their needs. In a fast and dangerous way- I might add.

The choice to be irritated all day long is ours. Or we can choose to give people the benefit of the doubt EVEN under “suspicion LOOKING circumstances”. Matt Kahn proposes that even if the things that bother you weren’t there you would still feel the same. Unless you resolve the internal discontent. It’s hard to imagine that getting what we want wouldn’t make us happy, but we see it over and over again. Celebrities, politicians. Even people we know.

"If your life were any different, you'd feel exactly the same. This is the irony of life's eternal perfection. Once you no longer rely on outside circumstances, in order to feel good, or even require feeling good, in order to be relaxed and open, something far greater than the tracking of ups, downs, gains and losses awakens within you. This is the heart of awakening.-
Matt Kahn , Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You

We only have control of our own mind and reactions.

Things that are OUT of our control change can so quickly. We have a choice in these matters too but it should be easier in the other mundane, albeit irritating things.

It seems reasonable that the things that aren’t so much of a choice, such as a sick baby, or a job loss, or unexpected expensive car problems- are going to happen regardless.

This Thanksgiving week I’m going try to notice blessings. At least that person driving the truck and parking it to inconvenience others- doesn’t have car problems that day. At least they have a nice truck.

Or that those people walking into the elevator without letting others off- can walk that day. They are not stuck in a hospital learning how to walk again for whatever reason.

This week is HUGE for me anyway. 2 years of pleading, cajoling, begging, praying & hoping for is actually happening today. It should be a huge party. A celebration of life living and surviving. A pat on the back of beating one giant lap of this journey.

My son graduates rehab today. Its a huge feat. It’s not something that he has repeatedly done in his addiction experience, like some. This is only the second time. So it’s doubly, triply worth celebrating. Yet it feels on the outside like I can’t be happy.

The worry and stress out about what could go wrong. The living conditions he’s going into are worry some. The need to control his experience and do it my way. Or insisting that I know what’s best for another human. I get mad when someone else appears to know what I should do, yet I still want to control others thoughts and actions in order to make me feel better about the process.

I could continue these thoughts. I could join everyone else in not believing he can do it. I can participate in being nervous every second and judging every moment. Or, I can honor my son’s journey and give it to God. I can relish in the fact that I have had my son back for the last 3 months. In addiction, you can never get too comfortable. You have to just embrace every moment of positive interaction you can. I have even relished the negative moments because at least my son dares tell me his fears and struggles. He feels intense pressure to perform a perfect recovery. He feels financial pressure to pick up where he left off exactly 3 yrs ago. He has to show he can follow life’s rules again almost perfectly. This is with an insidious cunning disease that is never linear on his back always waiting to pounce.

Just for today, I’m going to enjoy and embrace my blessings. Just for today, I’m going to try to be an example of love. Just for today, I’m going to honor my fears along with everyone else’s.