Life is often challenging, no two ways about it, but we have choices in everything we do (even when it doesn’t feel like it). We can choose to be happy or sad, angry or calm, to give or to take; we make decisions and then have to live with them.
So what if we chose to look past life’s challenges and be thankful instead? Is that even possible?
Who can honestly find something to be thankful for when the kids are driving you nuts, when your partner is not giving you the time you desire, when someone deceives you or when work is so busy you can’t breathe… How can you get past the ‘stuff’ and the feelings that surface?
Sometimes we see or hear a story that helps us to realise just how fortunate we are and how minor our issues are. When I saw the video below for the first time (a few years ago) I had one of those moments. I was moved by the young boy’s story more than his voice but his voice meant so much more after hearing his story and I remember thinking ‘wow, to have gone through so much, so young and still be thankful’. And he is not alone. There are people everywhere going through challenging situations yet still finding something to be thankful for; the start of a new day, another chance for things to change, a new friendship or a new way of thinking.
The words of the song are also poignant because this young boy sees past all the hardships he has experienced (with no hate, revenge or anger in mind), to dream for something much better for everyone:
‘I dream of a place to lie that is always free… like a cloud that floats.
Full of humanity in the depths of the soul
In my fantasy I see a bright world where each night there is less darkness
I dream of souls that are always free like the cloud that floats’
My takeaway was simply this; the next time life throws a curve-ball my way and I feel angry, hurt or fed up I will ask myself what is more important, the issue or my ability to know in faith a solution will follow, even if am unable to see it in that moment. But also to acknowledge that even though there is an issue, there is so much more in my life to be thankful for beyond it; I can decide where I put my focus. I get to decide to look beyond life’s challenges… And be thankful. What will you do?