As I have written in past posts I choose a word a year and examine the role it plays in my life, my thoughts, and emotions for a year. Last year was Resistance and I am so relieved the year was up in October. I picked a tough one but I learned how much resistance plays a role in just about every aspect of my life. I learned I resisted just about everything that showed up. I have come very far with my relationship with resistance but I also learned I have a long way to go. After a year of examination I am exhausted and glad to be moving on. I know I will have to revisit Resistance later on but that being said I had to pick a new word. I decided my new word would be Appreciation.
You would think this would be a much more gentle word to examine and in many ways it is but on the flip side it also offers many challenges that I will have to face this year.Initially I began looking at all the many things I appreciate in my life. In doing so I found I have many things I appreciate but one must go deeper to really peel back the layers.
In my ministry training one of the things we needed to ponder was the complaining we did. There is nothing worse than a person that does nothing but complain but as I sat with that I would catch myself many times complaining about this or that and lo and behold I discovered the unpleasant fact that I too was a complainer. It becomes easier to recognize and discontinue the act of complaining when you must stop and think about what you appreciate about this situation instead. So far that is what I am doing. When I recognize a complaint bubbling up I stop and consider the part of the given situation that I appreciate instead of finishing the complaining thought. Its not always easy especially when you have been groomed to be the ultimate victim. That is literally the only way I knew how to go through life….looking at the victim part of myself instead of the grateful and appreciative part of myself.
I fully believe you can change your life if you merely change your thoughts.So I challenge myself to look at the part I appreciate in everything I do or experience in my life. I stop and consider everything through the lens of appreciation.
I have struggled so much over the last few years. Nothing is coming easy. I can pretty much count on everything I do to be the most difficult way possible. Feeling appreciation does not change the fact I must face these challenges but it certainly makes how I “feel” about the challenges much better. I have decided whenever I face these difficulties I can have appreciation for all it is teaching me and I appreciate the feeling I get when I finally achieve something or if it cannot be achieved than I appreciate just having the experience and feel gratitude that it was probably not something that would have served me very well.
Today I am feeling very stuck….as I have been for quite sometime. So I forced myself to find the things I appreciate about the whole thing. In the time that I have felt stuck I have built a house with my husband and it is truly a beautiful house. I resisted the entire experience of building it but now that it is built and I am living in it I really do appreciate it. I appreciate all the windows that let in so much light and sun and allows me to look out and see all the wildlife that comes through in a day. I hate that I do not have any cell reception and very limited internet reception but I am grateful that it is forcing me to find other ways to navigate my life in this technological age. I appreciate all that I have for it is so much more than many people who live on this planet. I wish I had the money to go and stand in solidarity with my fellow water protectors. I wish I had the money to send much needed supplies but I just don’t. I am unemployed right now so it is just not something I can do but I appreciate the power of prayer and the fact that I know that. The other day there was a post on my face book feed that encouraged everyone to go to their nearest body of water and to pray. I had to force myself to do it (when I feel stuck I lose all motivation and energy to do anything) but when I got to the water (the Mancos River in Mancos Colorado) all was quiet. It was just me and the river and it was so beautiful. I poured all my appreciation into the water, I said my prayer and I offered my tears and I felt so positive afterwards. My primal self could feel the water appreciate all the love I poured into it.
Right now about the only thing I can do for my loved ones and our Mother Earth and the Water Protectors is prayer but prayer is a powerful medicine and I appreciate that I recognize that.
So I urge all who read this to sit and ponder all the things you appreciate in your life. I bet it will be much more than you even realized.