Have A Grateful Heart

heart on the sand
grabbed from Freeimages.com

I have been guest blogging at BayArt and have recently published an article there. BayArt is all about bringing inspiration and happiness; and creating a value and making a difference. Of course, my usual posts wouldn’t be appropriate there;  so I had to turn on a switch that hasn’t been turned on for a while. This is the first time I have written something like this for years and I actually enjoyed it. Without further ado, here it is. I hope you like it.

I haven’t always been grateful. I used to be a shallow carefree person who was only interested in getting what I didn’t have; I had taken for granted what I already had. Sure, I would pray every night before I sleep and say thanks for all the blessings but I didn’t really know deep in my heart what those blessings were. But, as probably most of you have already experienced, life happened and it took me on a roller coaster ride – a very long one.

I’ve been through a lot; people who knew me really well had told me that my life would be a great story for Maalaala Mo Kaya. (It is a Philippine drama anthology series that features weekly real-life stories or anecdotes of common people or even famous celebrities and personalities through letter sending.1) I’ve had friends and relatives betray me, I’ve been taken advantage of by people close to me, I’ve had my heart broken too many times, (without going into too much details) I’ve had my own share of family drama (several huge ones), and so much more. My life, as if a movie, has a lot of villains in it. Just when I thought everything is going smoothly, that’s when they’ll come into the picture and do something despicable just because they could.

But because of all these, I came to know who my real friends are; I re-connected with my then-friend who’s now my husband and gave me 2 beautiful kids; I realized the true value of family; and I discovered a whole new level of love for my parents. Somewhere along the way, it changed me; it made me a grateful person.

I’ve realized there is so much to be thankful for despite of all the trials and challenges. I’ve come to appreciate whatever life throws at me, be it joy or sorrow; for without the sorrows, I wouldn’t be the appreciative, stronger, and wiser person that I am today. I’ve grown to understand that I should be grateful for the little things (that are so easy to overlook) as well – that delicious meal prepared by my husband on weeknights, the couple of hours of video call with my parents almost every day, the weekends spent with my kids, the joy of catching up with friends who live miles away, the hour-long afternoon nap I am able take during weekends, and so much more.

I’ve recognized that I already have what I need in life – my loving parents, my very supportive husband, my 2 amazing kids, and a few but true good friends. And they are the greatest blessings that I have.

Now, when I pray at night and say thanks for all the blessings that I have, I say each and every blessing with heartfelt gratitude. And that is why, before my daughter goes to bed, we pray and we say thank you for each of the blessings that she has received because I want her to grow up with a grateful heart.

*Originally posted in BayArt.

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