One of the habits I've cultivated since my diagnosis is maintaining a daily gratitude diary wherein at the end of the day, I note down the things, people or situation that I'm thankful for, no matter how big or small. This practice trains my mind to see the beauty in the world, to be appreciative of every person's effort in my life, and to acknowledge the simple joys I take for granted. So technically, everyday is a Thanksgiving Day for me.
Since I've always been very vocal about being grateful for the chance to still be alive, I'd like to share the random learnings I've acquired instead of a gratitude list for this year's Thanksgiving especially now as I rebuild my life after cancer and are making better choices. Here goes...
I'VE LEARNED THAT...
...if you can't bring yourself to be happy when you're sick, single and broke, being healthy, married and rich won't give you joy either. Happiness is a conscious choice that you constantly have to make. It's a decision, not a circumstance.
...if people always rumor or talk negative about others to you, what do you think are they gonna talk negatively about to others when you're not there? That's right. YOU! So best to be on guard with these types of people or better yet, keep your distance and seek those who are too busy improving themselves and helping others do the same.
...at times of extreme adversities, you'll be amazed at how the people in your life will unconsciously reveal their true intentions. Some will truly fulfill their responsibilities as family or friend, some will downgrade themselves as passive viewers of your social media just to keep tabs on what how you're doing but doesn't wanna be proactively involved, some will slowly fade away from your life for some vague reason that only they can answer, and some strangers out of nowhere will just surprisingly step up to help you get through. Whatever the outcome may be, it's good to know where you truly stand.
...it's unavoidable to come across negative and small-minded people at work, social gatherings and day-to-day interaction. Hence, it's very important to learn how to deal with them to protect yourself from getting dragged down. My trick? Just hear them talk but don't listen and internalize. Block the toxic preachings that they're trying to plant on your subconscious and after a good amount of time, cut the conversation by excusing yourself politely to use the rest room. Then shake off the dust and get back to your regular positivity program.
...not everyone who offers to help you comes from a truly good intention. Some people help you because they want to get some sort of credit for being "good", some want to feel better about themselves by seeing you suffer, and some to show off that they have it better than you. Bottom line, they're helping to actually benefit them. Not you. So how do you know if the help is purely intended? Simple. See how they are with you when you rise up from the hurdle. The true kind-hearted ones will stick around and celebrate with your victory and the sugar-coated ones will shy away because their true bitter flavor will take over.
...we can die at any moment of our lives so stop obsessing about the future that you're missing out on the great things happening to you right here, right now. Go ahead and entertain ideas for how you want your future to turn out, but you gotta still live and enjoy at this given moment.
...life is very fluid that is in constant evolution. We can only do our best to roll with the punches and adjust our sails. We can only control as much but the rest is up to the Higher Being, fate, destiny or something like it.
...people are wired differently. We all have different cultures, background, upbringing, strengths, weaknesses and lifestyles which make us diversely interesting. Having said this, know how to respect differences and not impose or expect others to talk, think, act and behave exactly like you do.
...if you have an option to choose someone to get a job done, choose the smart person over the hardworking one. The hard worker may work hard and do it right but the smart one will figure out a way to do it with much less effort yet more efficient and faster. They will outsmart the situation.
...we all have our own way of coping with a painful feeling or situation. Unfortunately, some of them entail punishing ourselves or others along the way because hurt people have the tendency to hurt others. It is understandable and acceptable but only to a certain extent. If it starts crossing your boundaries, it's considered emotional or psychological abuse and that shouldn't be tolerated.
...being a grown-up doesn't necessarily mean having a family, working 9-5, operating a huge company, having a big house. It can simply mean being fully responsible for all your actions, fending for yourself and making sure you can sustain your lifestyle. And above all, it's about knowing who you truly are, what works for you and what doesn't and finding contentment from within.
...self-love is just as important as the love between a parent and a child. Besides, how can you supply pure love to others if you lack some for yourself? How will you be capable of making someone feel special and respected if you aren't capable of giving it to yourself? Loving YOU is YOUR responsibility. Not the society or someone else's.
...there's always different sides to every story so thou shall not judge immediately. Hear it out but leave room for the possibility of a back story that is yet to be told.
...giving your time to bond with children and elders are great investments! They can unconsciously teach you so many lessons about life that can never be found on books, schools and gadgets.
...there are so many horrible things happening in the world every second so to be breathing, to be healthy, safe, with food, clothing, shelter, and loved ones to reach out to is in itself, a big privilege. Hence, I am constantly grateful every second of the day that I'm alive. You should too. :)