Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. – Melody Beattie
A couple of months ago, I read Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom, a memoir that centered on author, Mitch Albom, having meetings with his college professor, Morrie, during his last months of life. Morrie was a Sociology professor, who developed Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and as much as he wanted to continue teaching, his body did not allow him to do so.
What did Morrie do now that his strength was being sapped from his body? He continued living. Even as his body was deteriorating, he wanted to make the best of his situation. He was determined not to die silent.
Imagine being unable to no longer do the things you love to do. Imagine not being able to dress yourself or go to the bathroom by yourself. Morrie loved to dance and swim, but as Albom wrote in the memoir, ALS is like a lit candle that “melts your nerves and leaves your body a pile of wax.”
In the midst of suffering through this disease, Morrie’s spirit was never taken. His body no longer had the same strength, but his soul and heart were more alive than ever before.
Morrie, a true educator, wanted the days and months leading up to his death to be the final course he ever taught. He wrote several aphorisms about accepting one’s own death and the Boston Globe published a feature story on Morrie.
The feature story in the Boston Globe prompted tremendous support for Morrie. Nightline even did a story on him. However, gaining nationwide recognition was never Morrie’s purpose. I think he just wanted to show people that even though he was dying, he still had a purpose.
I love Morrie’s transparency in detailing to Mitch how there were many mornings when he would cry and feel bad about his condition, but then he would let it go.
“You have to find what’s good and true and beautiful in your life as it is now.”—Morrie
Two weeks ago, I surprised my daughter at her school and had lunch with her. I can still picture her astonishment as I walked to meet her and her classmates. I had made her day. Little did she know, she had made mine as well. In the center of my uncertainty, my lunch date with my daughter was a little piece of heaven.
The journey I am on to become a successful, full time professional speaker has not been easy. I know I keep playing the same song, but I feel I must share that with you.
The plans we sometimes make for our lives don’t always pan out. I don’t believe that is a bad thing either. I just believe that there is something greater happening behind the scenes. Regardless though, we need to realize that life will present us with tough situations. The important thing will always be how we react to them.
In the past few months:
I’ve been rejected, yet I am still needed.
I’ve been hurt, yet I still smile.
I’ve been hated, yet I am still loved.
I’ve been lied to, yet I still hold on to what’s true.
I’ve been delayed, yet I still move forward.
Every day we are alive, we have something to be grateful for. The fact that we are breathing is evidence that life is not finished with us.
Life is beautiful. Even when it rains. Even in moments of loneliness. Even in darkness. I believe that life is beautiful. We just have to find the beauty in every moment, and when we do, be grateful for it.
What are you grateful for? Share below in the comments.