With the holidays approaching, so has the sale extravaganza of the December month. However, despite all the slick and fancy photo advertisements, I’m convinced that having more stuff doesn’t make you a happier person. I do believe that you can feel happier by practising gratitude. To reflects more often on the things that you are grateful for.
But can you feel a sense of gratitude for something that made your life difficult?
Living with a brain injury meant I had to change my life. Which at times made my life really though. Therefore I can’t say that I’m grateful for having a brain injury. As there are too many thing I no longer can do or no longer can enjoy.
5 lessons I learned
That being said, my life before was far from perfect. I did learn some valuable lessons. So I can say that I’m grateful for some things that my brain injury taught me. When I pondered as to what my brain injury had given me, these five lessons came to mind instantly:
I used to put too much value on work and having a full calendar, at the expense of my friendships. Thankfully I realized my mistake. In tough times you need the people around you. Who you are as a person isn’t determined by a job or a full schedule, but by how you treat others.
Not taking things for granted
Life can change in an instant. There also aren’t any guarantees that tomorrow will be a good day. Which taught me not to keep pushing the things that are important to me or that I like to do forward. Our only certainty is that we are alive in this moment. So make sure you make the right decisions for yourself.
Enjoy experiences rather than possessions
Having more possessions only means that cleaning and tidying up takes longer. Which takes energy that I much rather spend on something else. I also value new experiences as they make me feel more alive. As a bonus it gives me something to remember on my bad days, as a distraction and motivation.
Valuing the small things
I learned to pay attention to the small things and to find enjoyment in things like a hot shower, the feeling of sunlight on my skin or the taste of fresh bread. As a result I can enjoy these things far more than before. By valuing these small moments, you can make sure that each day as a silver lining.
Being more compassionate
I think that I became a more compassionate person, as a result of my brain injury. I’m more aware of the fact that we all face our own struggles. That many illnesses and disabilities are invisible. Which is why I want to be kind and understanding person whenever I interact with someone else.
Now I don’t think I ever will be grateful for having a brain injury. But maybe I can change the way I think about it, by contemplating on the positive consequences more often.
Finally I also want to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to you. Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and for interacting. Writing this blog helps me to make sense of myself and the world. I love reading your comments. Sharing your encouragements and experiences motivate me to keep on writing.
Thank you for being you.
Have you learned something by facing hardship for which you are grateful?
If you ever want to share your story or question than do reach out to me!