I want to start a new series for 2023, “GRATEFULNESS/GRATITUDE/MENTION.” Gratefulness/Gratitude/Mention is something I have been practicing for a few years. When I started my journey to understand myself with my disability, one of the things I needed to explore was something to ground me. I considered going back to church and God but, for me, with having a disability, I felt connected to God in my way. I have had many discussions with God in privacy.
I love to educate myself on anything and everything. So when it comes to talking about religion, I’m conscientious when I select people to talk about the subject with; I want to make sure they don’t use religion as a 911 button or aren’t so close-minded that they force their ideas on me. For me, religion, an area of life, is very private because I have a love/hate relationship with God, and that’s for him and me to understand.
I know God is there for me, but when it comes to going to a building to worship, I feel very uncomfortable; I think it’s because of my disability. I know God doesn’t see me as imperfect, but when I walk into a house of worship, I feel like the parishioners see me as wrong and keep saying God will fix me. If God made me, he made me like this for a reason, so he doesn’t want to set me because he knows I’m how I should be. However, I still have a love-hate relationship with him, and I know there is a reason why he made me as he did. This doesn’t mean I like my challenges, but I’m grateful to Him for giving me the strength and the mind to overcome my challenges.
As for having something to ground me, I chose to meditate on it because I believe it is all about being grateful. When I’m thankful, I feel grounded and content with the universe. It’s about being at peace with who you are in life.
For me, the church has become so modernized in many ways. Also, depending on what religion you are a part of, there are some beliefs and rules that I don’t have; if there is said God, then why are there a million plus ways to believe?
By meditating, I feel I’m cutting out the manufactured, modernized, and hypocritical-mannered ways I think religion has become. I also don’t have that gutful, shameful feeling I get when I walk into a house of worship. I’m comfortable with sitting outside to rest and everything in between when I’m talking to God in a meditative state. I’m showing him I’m grateful. I’m sharing my gratitude to God in my way, not through some words or rules we think he wrote or have been taught to believe.
In this series, I want to talk about how to find gratefulness and gratitude through our disability. It can be hard to find ways when living with a physical disability that can hold us back in life. However, there are ways to be grateful and to have gratitude. It is all about how you see yourself within yourself and how you force your negative energy. Some people stay negative while others move something or someone to help them with their negativity.
I choose to be grateful for those who are helpful and kind. Most of all, I want to be thankful for myself. Having a disability has been and will be a challenge, but I chose to force away the negative about my disability and to focus on the positives; I am grateful that my disability isn’t worse, and God has provided me with the strength to overcome many challenges.