Gratitude

I am exhausted.

It’s nearing the end of the semester and I’m in the final push to get all the work done and put to bed. Happily, I’m ahead of schedule and have three of the five graded projects done. Only two more hang over my head, plus an extra credit assignment.

A lot has slipped by the wayside this semester. I haven’t paid as much attention to Mr. Mister as I should. Daily devotional activities have felt like work. My attitude towards such things has been resignation and apathy instead of something more positive. I feel like the tone of this blog has slipped away, too. I don’t like any of this and it makes me feel like a shitty boy.

My hope is that the semester break, though full of stress in new ways, will allow me to revamp a failed daily practice into something that’s manageable with the stresses of work and school. I picked up T. Thorn Coyle’s book on creating and maintaining a daily practice [it’s on Amazon for less than four bucks for your Kindle or online ereader!] and, while it didn’t tell me anything new, it gave me some inspiration. I’m hopeful that if I can start and maintain something, it will help me stay grounded when the shit hits the proverbial fan with the beginning of a new semester.

Something else that has been slipping is my gratitude. I’ve been feeling more resentful of almost everything and I know it’s because of stress, but it’s still not a good feeling. I’ve found that when my gratitude slips, things start to crumble. In that vein, I’ve been noting things in my life that I’m grateful for and it’s time to write some of it down.

At the top of any list about anything in my life is Mr. Mister. My actions don’t always reflect this and I need to find a way to remedy that, but it’s there. I’m particularly grateful for His patience. I am a slow-going project and I sometimes feel crappy about that, like I should be further along than I am because, after all, it’s my hang-ups that separate me from Him. I’m grateful that He hasn’t given up on me, as I’m not sure I could survive it if He did. I’m grateful that He loves me, even though I question that at every step and often find myself in a place where I can’t detect that feeling in my day-to-day. If it needs to be said, I love Him so much that it sometimes physically aches.

I’m inordinately happy that Boyfriend is a part of my life. I’m grateful that he too puts up with my difficult self and that he values my presence in his life. He pushes me indirectly to be a better person and to cultivate a deeper spiritual life. I don’t write about it much here, but our relationship has shown me things I haven’t had in relationships with humans before, namely acceptance of who I am as I am. It’s also the most functional human relationship I’ve ever been in. It’s nice not to be tied to someone in a completely ass-backwards, dysfunctional way. He has brought joy to my life and has shone a little bit of light into the darker parts of myself. I love him very differently than I love Mr. Mister, but I love him nonetheless.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to go back to school. This wasn’t an event that came with good timing or a sense of coincidence; I specifically manifested this to happen now, as I’m running out of time to get this particular job done. It’s been a bigger project than I could have imagined, but it’s paying off. My grades are decent to good, I’m getting work done, and I feel like I’m accomplishing something…and I did this. No one has done it for me and I didn’t sit back and let it happen to me, which is something I am really good at. It has done good things for my self-esteem to be successful in this way at something that I set out to do.

I’m grateful for my small circle of friends, as far flung as they may be. They have all supported me in my various endeavors and been genuinely happy for me and that’s really, really nice. Most of my friends are spooky in some way and it’s nice to not have to explain that part of my life to skeptics or to people who automatically dismiss my experiences.

I am grateful for my inner strength. It’s only been in the last five years that I’ve learned exactly how strong and resilient and damn stubborn I can be. From the premeditated destruction of my life to a relationship that hurt me deeply to staying the course with school even when it’s difficult, I have pulled through all of it with some kind of grace, even when it’s ugly, twisted, painful grace. I don’t face life with as much fear as I used to because I know that, when the shit hits the fan, I am capable, period.

As always, I am extremely grateful for a job that allows me the flexibility to go to school and to do things like take a day or two off to see Boyfriend or what have you. Though I work nights, I still get the occasional opportunity to make a [hopefully] positive impact on someone else’s life and that is part of the Work, too. It was divinely arranged for me to work in the field that I do and I have not forgotten that. It keeps me from becoming complacent in the face of a job that is honestly not that taxing.

There are a whole host of other things that I am grateful for and I’m not going to list them all, but that’s the bare bones. I think it’s prudent to remember that, even thought I’m writing about it now, this time of year is not the only time to be grateful. I know that, for me, my gratitude has carried me through some really hard times and it’s almost a prerequisite for me to have a more positive outlook on my life.

Today, I can be grateful for what I have instead of resentful for what I don’t have. That’s a big gift to me; that I can be satisfied even when things aren’t perfect or aren’t the way I want them to be. So, in some ways, I am grateful to be grateful. Tis the season, I suppose.

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~ by Alex on November 21, 2012.

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