Witnessing the Unseen Treasures of Challenge

July 27th, 2012

I have been studying gratitude as a the open door to a positive life and one of the most profound vehicles to love for some time. As part of my research, we have had an ongoing contest asking our readers to share their own stories of how gratitude has transformed their own lives and relationships. Here is an unforgettable story of gratitude.

I embrace the gift of how my life has developed from birth to now. At an early age, I was very visual. Reading books came easily to me by age 3 and is still one of my first loves. I am an accomplished writer with several books just sitting there for me to finish.  By the early teen years of my life, I became very accomplished at sketching. I especially enjoyed observing all the shadings of hands and faces and duplicating what my eyes could see on poster boards, a wall, chalk board or just notebook paper.  I have spent countless hours appreciating nature, down to the slightest detail like: how the leaves on a tree swaying in the breeze captures light and seem to sparkle in the sunlight; the perseverance of the ant who carries a crumb all the way across a wide driveway to the ant hill; the personality of birds in the morning with their unique chirps of urgency, joy, fear; the various smells on a country bike trail; the feel of clean flannel sheets in the bitter winter months,  the taste of kiwi in season. It seems that my whole life has been a festival of senses that I can have in memory to live over again as I please.

Some of the former pleasures are still within my grasp: others are now lost to me except in memory. I was diagnosed at the age of 15 with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative macula condition that results in blindness. I am now 47 and beyond legally blind, but not completely blind. With the reduced vision that I have, I am immensely grateful. I am pleased that my eyes have given me something to see in the absence of physical vision. I see what is very similar to a star and the Aurora Borialis. My eyes have also created a variety of tints of color for me to enjoy. Some days the tint is a calm turquoise, other days it is an orange. This gives me the gift of color even though I am not able to see much color in the physical world.  I also have a very open third eye. My intuition gets better with time. As I mentioned, my love of reading has not faltered. In fact, I am in two book clubs. Most books are on audible format and I just indulge myself.

What my eyes can not detect in nature, I absorb with the other senses. I can smell when a deer is near. I often walk in the woods with my daughter and take much pleasure in listening to the music of the wild.  I plan to try sculpting to satisfy my passion for art.  I partake in the art of Yoga as a teacher and student to appease my need for movement and mental clarity.

It seems with all that I have lost,  the golden nugget down the road waits for me to possess its abundant riches. It is about contentment and most assuredly, having great gratitude for what I do have and also, finding the gift in the challenges. Any so called curse can not exist without its polar opposite. So I know to be patient and focus on getting the wealth out of what ever life wants to offer me.

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