Deep down your mind might grumble with something like “Right! A Happy Thanksgiving …in this body? Happy Thanksgivings are for healthy people?”, “Forget the happy, I hope I just make it through it” or something similar.
One thing I’ve learned is that my ‘mind’, that critical, assessing, never satisfied, often quite childish voice in the back of my head, is not my friend. My mind is not interested in others opinions, it always wants to be right, and it gets quite upset when things don’t go its way. It certainly isn’t interested in being ‘thankful’. It would rather just be pissy.
My experience is that my ‘mind’ – my automatic ‘listening’ – has only gotten stronger with chronic fatigue syndrome and that makes sense. Our negative automatic listening (“this sucks”, “this is wrong”, “this is unfair”) thrives when we’re unhappy and in difficult situations.
(Note that thankfulness is completely internally generated; there’s almost no situation, no matter how good, we can’t find fault if we try, and probably vice-versa. We either bring thankfulness to a circumstance or we don’t.)
Being thankful with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia isn’t easy, and it probably in some ways just make sense, but if you can do it, it works. It leaves precious little room for frustration, anger or despair. It lightens you up. It’s a peaceful place to be, and peace, even if it’s just for 10 or 20 seconds, is nothing to sneeze at.
In this blog we’re using the Gratitude Tutorial blog to find ways to introduce thankfulness into any circumstances at any time.
Nothing but your time and focus. A gratitude journal would be great. Putting up notes around the house can work (if you look at them). Otherwise it simply involves remembering to look for and find reasons to be thankful around you
I spent some time walking around being in the presence of ‘being thankful’ and things to be thankful for popped up all over the place.
Things to be Grateful For in and of Themselves
(Toni Bernhardt’s light-hearted look at what she’s grateful for included “not having to stand in line on Black Friday”, TIVO, Woody Allen and Jane Austen, her ear-plugs, and her latest cold (which could mean that she’s getting better.))
I appreciate things that hang in there over time. It took three tries before I found a laptop I could tolerate chemically. Now, it’s like a part of me.
Six years later, the motherboard, hard drive, screen and keyboard have all been replaced. It’s a bit stodgy looking and I’ve worn away the finish in several places, and its failing, again, in mysterious ways, but when I think how many thousands of hours this thing has logged, I appreciate all the hard work it’s done! I’m thankful I found a good laptop to be my work companion:)
I’m very thankful for my dogs (River on the left, Skye on the right), two Catahoula Leopard Hound mixes, and their wacky, fun natures. I love watching them run around. I love and am astounded by their patience and good will. They’re a lesson to me.
My Side Panels!
I bought this huge, ugly camper shell to keep the dogs in the back of the truck (lol – they never go in back now :)), and it came with these side panels that I almost tore out, but now that I’m camping out a lot I found that I LOVE my side panels. They are so darn functional. The little helps that we find in life like that are so cool.
The Raiders have been a passion and a torment for me. They haven’t done particularly well (either); they’ve bombed for the last decade, they had a borderline senile owner, they’ve changed quarterbacks and coaches like handiwipes, they traded one of their best coaches to another team (after he refused to work for them anymore). They’ve basically been the sports world’s dysfunctional team, but I’ve stuck with them. There’s something about sticking with something through the good and the bad over a long period of time that brings acceptance and gratefulness.
Bad Things That Happened Which Prompted Good Things to Happen
“Obstacles and challenges force you to explore outside of your comfort zone. Be thankful for the opportunities that they provide.” (?)
Top of my list is leaving my former compadres at Phoenix Rising and starting Health Rising. That whole process seemed really bad at the time, but this year has been a whole heck of alot of happier than last years, so thanks you guys for doing enough to get me out of there.
Getting sick has had its silver linings. I would certainly rather ME/CFS had not happened, but I’m working in an area that can really make a difference, I’m met some great and courageous people, I’ve learned some humility, and I’m stronger mentally in some ways. If I get well, we’ll see how much stronger. (I would love to test that out :)).
People to Be Thankful For
My father, family, Bob and Courtney Miller, Corinne, Stavya (Health Rising’s tech), Marco and our team of bloggers, people who’ve contributed to and supported Health Rising..
People Who Made Things Hard for Me But Who Prompted Me to Accomplish Something
That would be the PR board again. I really got my butt in gear after that and it’s been wonderful. My editor, who certainly cringed if he read the first published version of this blog, and may be cringing now fits in here. Thanks for your help!
- The Places That Make You Smile
- The Animals You Love
- The Obstacles That Forced You to Explore New Options