These are the parts of me, myself and my life that are difficult to verbalize and articulate at times, but have shaped my being and my human experience. While it is important to take time each and every day to be grateful, I think a birthday is a perfect day to list out many of the things that I appreciate in my life.
Given this is my 43th year on this planet; here are things I am grateful for and this is just the essential thankful list I could go into thesis mode.
My Creator, my Faith, my Soul – I am thankful that somewhere in my soul I have been able to maintain faith that that there is a power greater than me who hasn’t given up on me yet. It’s because of my faith the size of a mustard seed that I am able to continue on every day or else I would be lost.
My parents – they were the chosen ones. Because if there was no them, there will be no me. I am thankful I was introduced to death at an early age. I am thankful I was in the car with my father, in the room with it when it took its form and that I watched it be buried deep into the ground, so I would understand that this transition of experience and loss of tangibility is an inevitable part of every story.
My Siblings – for being my closest kin in the world. Who accept me as I am and for what I am. You are 5 (as my mother indicated with her hand, during her last days on earth, stay together! Be there for each other.) All for one and one for all.
My Son – who is the air I breathe, the essence of my existence? No words could ever explain our relationship, my legacy lives on in him.
My Niece and Nephews – My circle of love
My new family – who make me realise how different people can be, we learn and grow from newness daily
My Best Friends – for being my companions in life. Soul-sisters!
My extended family – who are truly an extension of my parents, grandparents- the legacy of who we are.
Sense of sight – for letting me see the colours of life.
Sense of hearing - for letting me hear trickle of rain, the voices of my loved ones, and the harmonious recitations of invocations.
Sense of touch - for letting me feel the texture of my clothes, the sand on my feet, the warmth of my loved ones embrace.
Sense of smell – for letting me smell vanilla, my favourite perfumes, and beautiful scent of sandalwood incense which I love.
Sense of taste – for letting me savour the sweetness of fruits, the saltiness of my tears, the sourness of pickles, and the spiciness of chilli.
My speech – for giving me the outlet to express myself, to be able to say how I feel.
My heart – for pumping blood to all the parts of my body every second since I was born; for giving me the ability to feel.
All my fingers and toes, my fully functional body – despite the aches and pains. The stretch marks, the cellulite, “the low profile tyres”. My body enables me to function.
My Experiences - I am thankful for all the things I never wanted to experience but have. The things I cried out against, and the ones that have felt like nothing to others, yet to me showed me how sensitive I am.
My Emotions - I am thankful I have come to understand the range of emotions a human being is capable of experiencing. From the lowest of lows all the way to the highest of highs.
My Tears – for helping me express my deepest emotions.
My Disappointments – reminds me of what matters the most.
My Fears – to be conquered.
My Pain – I am thankful for the times I’ve given into everything that was hurting me and let whatever it was take over so to acknowledge its presence and the pain it was causing in my life it made me stronger.
My sadness – for me to appreciate the spectrum of human emotions.
My happiness – for me to soak in the beauty of life.
My Love - I am thankful I have experienced the weight of loving someone too much, so I know my heart is capable of such a feat.
My Rejections - I am thankful I have watched people walk out of my life, for it has helped me to understand the importance of making the most of what is in front of me. I’ve experienced rejection and humiliation, for as ashamed as I felt at the time, it’s made me a stronger person, and given me necessary perspective.
Tragedy and Death - I am thankful I have watched people who I love pass on, for it has helped me see that nothing is certain, nothing is for sure. Life moves in circles and unruly shapes and patterns—not a straightforward path. Nothing is linear and it never will be.
My Broken Heart - I am thankful I carry with me the pieces of a broken heart, recognizing these pieces are not only a part of who I am today, but are valuable pieces of the puzzle of the person I am continuing to become. Lights enters me through the brokenness.
My Falling Apart - I am thankful I have watched those who I look up to most fall apart, for it has helped me understand that with age comes both experience and wisdom, but no one is immune to feelings. It’s shown me that I am not the only one who carries a human heart, and the weight of the world on my shoulders. I am thankful I have let parts of my life mean so much to me that their absence has driven me to fall apart to the point of feeling paralyzed, and down for the count.
My Resilience - I am thankful I have gotten back up after a fall—that at each and every one of these paralyzing turning points there was something within me which grabbed me by the hand and pulled me forward. Not something that was given to me by, or someone else, but rather something that I was forced to find deep within myself and bring to the surface all on my own accord.
My rear-view mirror - I am thankful I have changed my mind more times than I can count, for it has helped me to accept the processes that other minds and hearts go through, and has in turn, lessened the blow that comes from being at the mercy of others.
My mistakes - I am thankful I can’t go back to try and desperately fix the mistakes I’ve made. Even on the days I wish I could. I know they have become a part of who I am, and are all scars that are chapters of my story for a reason.
My changes - I am thankful I’ve undergone transformations, those that have disconnected me from myself to show me the person I don’t want to be, and those that have nearly shaken me to death and brought me back home.
My Failures - I am thankful that I’ve failed. It’s only through these failures that I have been able to face myself. These failures have helped me open my eyes to see that there will always be more failures to come.
My Acceptance - I am thankful for the things I cannot change. Even if I wish I could. It reminds me that I am not in control. It teaches me a lesson in acceptance every single day of my life.
My Every Breath - I am thankful for the feeling of waking up in the middle of the night and knowing that when it comes down to it, I’m here, trapped within this body of flesh and it’s the only earthly life I will ever get, and it’s all on me to make the most of it. It’s terrifying and comforting at the same time. There’s no immeasurable pressure or infinite freedom quite like it.
I am thankful that I don’t have any of the answers. That I don’t know what tragedy will come my way, because it would only shift my attention away from life that has been given to me to be lived in the present.
I am thankful I have seen the detriment that negative cycles of behaviour have done to those I care about, so I can break the cycles as soon as I see them in my own tendencies.
I am thankful that I have seen my own life flash before my eyes, so I can understand my own fragility and impermanence of this fleeting physical realm.
I am thankful I have made both decisions that were based solely on my feelings, because they felt right at the time, and those that were more thoughtfully based on logic, sensibility and clarity.
I am thankful I have been given more chances by a higher power, even though my own graceless heart doesn’t deserve them.
I am thankful I’ve made efforts to take my life back, even when I wasn’t sure where to start. I am thankful I’ve walked away. Even when I didn’t want to.
I am thankful I’ve held on. Even though I know I shouldn’t have.
I am thankful my life is a beautiful mess and a lesson every day, and that this is enough reason to keep on keeping on, and more than enough reason to continue being thankful.
Finally when all is said and done, I am thankful for being alive and really not in control of this plan, I am actually active yet an inactive player in my life, sometimes I need to take a seat on the side-lines, because there is a higher power in control.
I plan, He plans, He is the Best of Planners.