What Do You Take For Granted?

“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you
take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
                                                                                   Gilbert K. Chesterton

When we are young or doing well and feeling good, we don’t usually think about our health. We often take it for granted. We become blind to that wonderful gift.

Yet as we get older, we become more aware of how health is the foundation of every other gift life offers us.  We also become aware of how we have taken care of our bodies, our teeth, our knees, our hips, our necks, our stomachs, pancreas, intestines, heart,  and our liver because neglect shows up as symptoms and disease.

At some point, joints wear down, livers become toxic, hearts become stressed, stomachs make fewer enzymes, and so much more. It is only then when we sometimes take an inventory in order to see what we did that contributed to our current state of health.

I had an experience the other day which was very humbling, and for which, when I left the doctor’s office, I was grateful! I went for a routine breast screening. I usually ask for an ultra sound and not a mammogram. As I was undergoing an ultrasound, the technician, a caring woman, hovered over a specific area. She showed the images to the doctor, who came in and then looked at my breast herself. She felt there was something there.

She and the technician talked me into having a mammogram for further screening, and then left me in the waiting room as I waited my turn. As I waited I realized I was frightened and I began looking inward, seeing what might be present in my body. Yes, it was a very humbling moment. So many women go through this, with false positives, and also with the moment when they are told the dreaded news which changes their lives forever.

After about ten minutes, the technician came in and told me everything looks good and everything is normal. I had tears come to my eyes. I felt such relief. As the expression goes, I had a “Come to Jesus” moment.  I felt so grateful to be alive, to be healthy, and had to admit that even health care professionals take their health granted. I sure did.

Gratitude is that daily practice that enables us to savor life rather than take it for granted.  It can be practiced anywhere at any time for anything.  Begin a gratitude journal today and see if it doesn’t change the quality of your life in amazing ways!

Small Lifestyle Changes that Produce Big Results:

Take a moment each morning when you first wake up and think about the five things you are most grateful for in life.  At the end of the day, write down five things that you are grateful for that happened in your day.

Do this every morning for 40 days. After the 40 days, re-read your lists and say them out loud with as much feeling as you possibly can.

Then, take a look at them and see which things come up more than once that you are grateful for. Notice your patterns. See what is there, and also see what isn’t there. Often it is what we don’t see where we gain the most light. Then, just say THANK YOU!

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