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I’m not sure what to say about gratitude. I hope all of you are grateful for just living. To live is a miraculous thing. Not an easy thing, but a miraculous thing. To love is also a miraculous thing. Not easy, but a miraculous thing. It’s important in life to try to live as much as possible and to love without constraint.

Sometimes living gets very hard. Illness can come, and wreak havoc in ways unimaginable. It can cause pain, suffering, symptoms, and existential crises. Trauma can occur and break us emotionally, spiritually. Loss can make us feel like we have nothing to live for anymore. But it is critical not to give up, not to turn in, not to think we must commit suicide or harm ourselves, because no matter what, we are miraculous just as we are.

Love can be very hard also. We may love and not be loved back. We may be incapable of expressing ourselves in a way where we get what we need or want. We may be stuck in situations which are not the healthiest for us, but because of a lack of self-love, we cannot move on. We may use every defense mechanism in the book, or express ourselves with hatred towards the world because we revile ourselves so much. Love and loving may indeed be brutal.

This is where we need unrelenting compassion for ourselves and for others. And this is where we need a sincere gratitude for existing. One cannot contrive gratitude, it can only come from an Elysium past hardship, where one recognizes that hope is everything and that accordingly one is always divinely blessed. It may even need to come from the dark night of the soul, where one has lived through so much, one sees the world in the clearest terms.

With authentic gratitude, no longer is the mundane the mundane, but every detailed aspect an element of the tragicomic world become rich with meaning - especially things like beautiful human interaction and the resplendent workings of nature. Before this New Year, prepare yourself. Reach deep, deep within where your vulnerable feelings lie, and attempt to find and dust off your gratitude for simply existing.

It is indeed what matters most.

Happy New Year! 🎆 🥳 🎊 🌈 🦋 from The Palliative Post


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