I belive that nothing helps more then your own exemple, so...that`s why I try to give you parts from my life and heart, hoping that I may inspire you with something. Or at least, give you courage or, why not...HOPE.
Today I tell you why Gratitude is my Super-Power.
The secret is to focus on what you have, not on what you miss and dont have.
When I was a child, we ware poor and I didnt had warm watter and heat. So I stayd there dressed well and with a blanket over me and washed myself with cold freezing water. And I hated! I hated sooo much!
I hated our apartment where everything was broken, where my parents didnt understand well and they argue all day, my mom was crazy (literally), that apartment where in the winter I was freezing and I had to shower with that fucking cold water.
Until one day, when it hits me and I was thinking: "Well.....maybe I have cold water, but you know what? some people dont have that! some people dont have water at all!
Okay...maybe this house is not arranged and has broken walls ad looks ugly, but....some people dont have a place where to sleep without feeling the wind at winter. Here is cold, that`s true...but I have a flufly blanket and some walls.
So....I could be more thankfull that I can drink water and wash myself, even if it`s cold"
From that moment, I started to concentrate on what I can do to change some things, but in the same time....to focus on what I already have right there, right now!
Washing myself with gratitude was the moment when the water it seemed more warm to me. Or at least, my heart was. And I imagined every day....how I will have the opportunity in the future to take a hot shower and have a warm room where I can sleep comfortable. But i used that imagination only to keep some hope...then I let it go and focus again on how lucky I was to be healthy and alive.
When I was 13 years old I was very frustrated because I didnt had a schoolbag. I wished so bad to have a satchel and be dressed more nicelly, so my colleagues dont longer laugh at me because I`m poor...and ugly (I was thinking at that time).
And then, at my 13, I was staying in the store and wanted so bad a biscuit to eat, but didnt had money. In that moment I must addmit, i wasnt thankfull, I was angry, but I promised to myself this:
"In this life, I will have money to buy myself one million biscuits. And I will have heat and warm fucking watter! And a schoolbag! and jeans! And I will renovate the apartment of my parents. I swear to myself, I will do this and I will start from NOW!"
So, after I though this, I was looking for options. And I was talking to my teachers at school to give me a job. I said I can cook, wash dishes, clean their house, anything...for some money.
I was 13 years old when I had my first job.
I was cleaning the house for a teacher and I was extremelly happy to have that broom in my hands, knowing that I have the opportunity to do something for my life.
I was grateful, yes. Every time I was cleaning that house I felt so much gratitude that I cant even explain now!
With my first money, I bought to myself a schoolbag and a biscuit!
The next month, I was paying the electricity, because we didnt had light at home bc of unpaying bills. Problem solved!
I was thinking to save some money every month, to reinvest and think what I can do in plus, for some extra cash.
Durring the day I was studying at the school. When the study was over, I was running to my cleaning job and durring the night...I was drawing the plan for my dreams to come true.
And then I found another opportunity: I always knew that I`m talented at writing and I have a creative spirit. So I wrote poetry and sell it at the boys from my school. So older boys then me, bought my poems to give them to the girls they liked. hihi!
In one year of cleaning job and writing poetry and seeling it, I saved some money and I afford to buy a computer. Then I started to make CD/DVD-s with music and movies and sell them. It was summer so I was thinking to move fast, until the winter is not there.
I was 14 years old, and was Autumn (my favorite season) and then, in 12 October, I had my first serious and most important investment of my life: ELECTRIC HEAT at my home! I was taking a loooong hot bath with tears of joy in my eyes.
The next 2 years I learned french and italian and at 16 years old I helped my french teacher with some translations, in exchange of money. In that period of time, durring the day I had school (I quited my cleaning job) and durring the night I was translating documents and sometimes books. I earned a lot in that period, so since I am 16 years I afford to help my parents with everything, because they got sick so couldnt work anymore. I still help them.
At 16, I renovated our apartment, I bought new furniture and reinvest some money in a better computer. Over the night, I stayed at the table in the kitcken of my parents and I kept writing how I want my life to be and drawing my own place, my own succes (or at least what succes meant to me)
And at 18 years old I moved alone because I wanted my own place where I can live, work and be comfortable with. I started to earn a lot more and have many creative project where I was involved.
I had many ideas of making money but the most important thing for me was to not make any compromise, so I took only the things, ideas and jobs that make me feel creative, happy, alive.
Even this day, I dont work at a project if I dont feel to. Only money dont motivates me, but the work, the people I could serve, the creative mind of mine I could use, the life I feel when I`m doing something valuable....that`s something I can not live without.
The magic thing is that....
4 years ago when I was visiting my parents, my father gave to me some old journales and papers where I draw and wrote stuff....and then I remembered all the nights when I was staying there, right at that table and only dreaming that someday I will have a warm room, hot water, biscuits, jeans...and a place of my own.
And I was thinking with respect, gratitude and joy...at that moments who brought me here.
I was thinking with respect and gratitude at that litlle girl who had the responsability and courage to change something. But not by anger, but started with a grateful heart!
And I was feeling thankful, lucky and a litlle melancholic....knowing that....those moments was uniques and I never will live them again (not in a negative way i said this)....those moments when I stayed at the table and worked so hard was my first times working and I never will have that first time and same situation again, it`s normal that. And this made me more aware of importance of present moment and why I should be happy and present at this moment. It`s unique! It`s the only thing I have, It`s important! It`s the first and the last time when I live this moment. Now...it`s the first time when I write this article, with this mood, in this time and this me. And the last one. We`ll be other nice times too, but it`s important to me to be present at this moment. WIth gratitude. It really is a power.
And even today, I`m happy with tears of joy when I feel the warm in my room and I wash myself with hot water....and....never bought 1 milion biscuits, but I always have one in my bag. Just to remember....how I started!
And when you take a step towards life....The life take 10 steps towards you!
How I decided over the years to become therapist and how many changes was in my life...I tell you another time, because now I`m working for you at a document about depression and stuff...
But for moment I want to tell you this: We take many things for granted. But to have hot water and a warm room, to be capable to walk, to hug and to work....they are not small things!
I really belive that for a better life we must work for what we want. But in the same time, we must appreciate the things we already have. Because no matter how bad our situation can be...ALWAYS we still have something. Even if that thing is only that we can breath, it`s something BIG!
Dont underestimate that "small" something. Even if seems to litlle, it`s not. It`s a starting point. Maybe a big one! So enjoy the place where you are now, because it`s the first time and the last one...when you will be right here and right now, right like this, with this mood, ideas, etc. it`s a moment that you can remember dearlly later.
Why gratitude is my super power? Because even If I lose everything, I still can be thankful....Because I am alive and I have this big opportunity to experience what life means. From that starting point, even If a lose everything, I always can start over.