25 May

The Universe has been nudging me to write a post about gratitude.  Last week I watched Laura Ling tell of her time spent in a North Korean prison when she and fellow reporter Euna Lee accidently crossed into North Korea while working on a story.  They were thrown into prison, put on trial, and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor.

To make matters even worse, the  United States has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, and at the time of their arrest, North Korea was shooting off rockets and the underlying threat of a nuclear war was lurking.

Laura was in a precarious predicament, with not much hope for the future or release and a return to her family and the life she knew.

She was asked how she got through it.  What she said amazed me and has really resonated with my soul.

She said she was able to endure because she focused on gratitude.  Many of us go through our lives unhappy and complaining about what are really inconsequential and trivial parts of our lives.  The question is — when the chips are really down, can you still find your gratitude?

Gratitude is easy when we are happy, our family is doing well,  jobs are secure and meaningful, health is abundant, finances are stable — then it is very easy to be  grateful … most of the time we take it all for granted and assume that this is how life is suppose to be.

For many people in this world they do not have even a fraction of what we take for granted … and they are  grateful … gratitude can be found in the midst of deplorable, desperate conditions, death and destruction, famine and disease.  Just as God is always present no matter what – we can always find gratitude no matter what – we just have to be intentional and seek.  Once we seek, we will find. 

Once we start, it will become contagious and we will be able to find more and more in our lives to be grateful for

Laura Ling said it was easy to find the gratitude as she sat in her solitary, cold, damp, dark cell.  That in itself is a blessing to be grateful for.

She was grateful for the three meals she was given each day.  The meals were small, but they sustained her and she knew that there were many  in North Korea who were starving.

She was grateful to see a butterfly occasionally flit by her window.  It gave her hope, even though she could not smell the fresh air or feel the sunshine, she saw a butterfly go by and she was grateful.

This morning I received an email containing a you tube video of Nick Vujicic.  Nick is 26 and was born without arms or legs.  Nick is filled with gratitude.  Here is a link to the you tube video and to Nick’s website, Life Without Limbs.

Thank you Laura and Nick for reminding me that there is so much for me to be grateful for.

Wishing you gratitude!


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