Time flies by so fast that it is difficult to realise that we are about to say ‘Goodbye!’ to 2014 and ‘Hello!’ to the New Year. You probably have many things to be thankful for over the last twelve months but, like the rest of us, you have also had your challenges.
Maybe your ‘life script’ did not turn out as you would have liked – but then life often throws up unexpected challenges to be overcome, such as health issues or relationship problems. That is the order of our lives and with a new year ahead of us, it is worth remembering to be grateful for what we actually do have – our family, our friends, our work and all those special moments in our lives.
Of course, it is very easy to feel sorry for ourselves when things go wrong. Maybe you didn’t get that promotion you wanted or you lost a personal relationship. Your health may have deteriorated and such issues are often tough calls to handle particularly if they come together.
But that doesn’t really help us to move on. In order to do that, we need to take full responsibility for what is in, and what is out, of our control. There is no point in wasting time, energy or even money on that over which you have no control. However, there is a point in accepting a particular situation as it stands and seeing how you can amend your life script to take account of it. Your life-script may not be within your own control, but the attitude that you exhibit in your approach to situations that you encounter, is within your determination and can positively influence outcomes in your favour.
Making a difference
I used to work as a volunteer at a charity for the homeless in the UK, called CRISIS, and on Christmas day I would go to a large building in London, together with other volunteers, to sit and talk with those who were sleeping rough in the streets of London – having being excluded from family and friends for a variety of reasons, and then becoming dependent on handouts from a charity. There I met with men and women, young and old, all of whom had virtually no possessions, no money and no job. Working with CRISIS over many years, taught me so much. When the homeless came together on Christmas day, they were given a warm, soft mattress on which to sleep, hot food to eat and warm clothes to keep out the cold and snow. Alex, a middle-aged man, was one such person with whom I sat with all those years ago. I remember him saying to me that he was filled with such warmth and gratitude towards all those who helped, listened and who were just there for him during those hard times. Alex showed me that he wasn’t angry for what he didn’t have, but he was so very grateful for the kindness he received that day we talked. Many years have gone since then but, even now, I remember Alex, and his face, as if it were only yesterday.
So I ask you, in looking back over the past year, what is it for which you should be grateful? If things did not go as planned, what was the learning that came out of the experience that you can take with you on your life’s journey into next year?
I don’t know what your special moments have been. I don’t know who is special to you but I do know that it is good to reflect at the end of any year in an effort to prepare you for the year ahead.
For my readers, I say, ‘Thank you for reading my words, thoughts and ideas in this blog, throughout 2014, and a special ‘thank you’ to those of you who write to me with your comments. They mean a great deal to me and it is important that you know that I really appreciate your feedback.
Let me end with the words from AA Milne’s children’s story, ‘Winnie the Pooh’: “Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
- Work on that over which you have some control
- Be grateful for your successes however small
- Value your family, friends and whatever good fortune comes your way
Written by Carole Spiers and reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News.
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