Turn Your Life Into The Best Story You’ll Ever Read
Shopping lists, to-do lists, , packing lists – lists are an easy way for busy people to retain information. Of all places, I found myself making the most lists in the hospital. And of all kinds of lists – after a surgery that went terribly wrong – I found myself creating a gratitude list.
This was one of many lists I created every night in the hospital. I’d make myself think of something I was grateful for from A to Z, even when I hated my circumstances. By rummaging through my angry and frustrated thoughts, eventually, some positivity submerged. By the time I reached “Z”, my life had not changed dramatically, but my thoughts had.
You don’t need a set of fancy paints to create art, you don’t need a picture-perfect life to find every day gratitude, and you certainly don’t need a fancy hardcover journal to start a grateful list. Take a blank page, letter it A to Z from beginning to end, and just start. It doesn’t have to make sense. Some words can be a bit of a stretch. It’s even okay to get away with “x-citement” or “quanberry juice.” It’s just to get your head in a different place.
And sometimes, when your head’s in a different place…
Your body will be too.
Where’s the most outlandish place you can find gratitude today?
In the hospital, I made daily gratitude lists when there wasn’t much to immediately be grateful for. But finding gratitude was a way to make “sense” of my story. If I were grateful for things happening, it could fit into my life. I could own what happened to me and make something from it. These grateful lists were my life story being spelled out night after night.
This taught me a valuable lesson: Stories make us stronger. Stories make us think differently. And there is strength in thinking, seeing and doing things differently.
Everyone loves a good story. Is there a book or poem you’ve read that has always stuck with you? A certain metaphor from a whimsical children’s story that resonated with you as a child? I remember always loving the book Harold and the Purple Crayon. I loved the idea of a little child being able to create his own world. It made me feel like I could too.
That’s the beauty of a metaphor: through a larger vision, we can relate with our own unique stories.
That is also the power of storytelling. Everyone’s story is different. But we all can relate to emotions. If you’re human, you’ve felt sadness. You’ve felt hunger, pain, joy, loss, .
If you’re a human on this earth, you’ve felt life. Look all around you, and you’ll see life growing, dying, changing and regenerating daily.
And THAT is something we can all be grateful for, right? That even though we’re dealing with difficult times, we are not alone. We never have been.
As I contemplate the next steps I wish to take in my own personal journey, my own beautifully messy detour, I find myself wondering how to best share my story and have it help others.
Then I think about some of my favorite movies.
But I’ve felt betrayal.
I’ve looked for hope in the oddest of places.
I’ve lost hope.
I’ve been so angry I haven’t even known what to do with myself.
I’ve felt love when I thought I couldn’t feel at all.
I’ve felt fear.
I’ve felt bravery
I’ve felt life.
I can’t really compare my life to a Disney movie, but I can say this: We all have ebbs and flows in our lives – our peaks and valleys. My story, your story, our stories – they’re all the same. The specifics are not the importance in the end. What’s important is that we keep telling them.
That’s how we know we’re not alone.
You have a story too.
Our stories make us stronger. So today – tell yours.
Such an inspiring story!!
What a great post!
I am so grateful for all of life’s emotions (good and bad). Feeling a range of emotions is what makes us human! I want my life to be interesting more than I want life to be “good”, thanks for the burst of powerful inspiration!
I should start a gratitude journal. That is such a good idea! Thank you for sharing!
Very inspiring post! Thanks for sharing your story and the gratitude list, perhaps I should give it a try sometimes.
I loved reading this – very inspiring. I also love the idea of writing that list from A to Z, I might just have to adopt that practice myself.
Pick Your Beau
I have not heard of making a gratitude list before but what a great idea! I enjoyed reading this and think its important to go through all of life’s emotions and appreciate when we are in good seasons!
How 2 Wear It  http://how2wearit.com
Loved this post. So inspiring! Thank you for sharing.
xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise
A great post! always joke about having story worthy events happening in my life. thanks.
Wow! This is an amazing idea. I really need to implement this into my nightly routine. Amy is so wise!
XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass
I love posts that help me to reflect on my life and the way that I approach and view things…really great
This is beautiful. What a powerful reminder to always count your blessings!
Coming Up Roses
Life is hard and beautiful. I love that you use art and storytelling to overcome!
There are no words for how much I love this. Seriously, what an inspiration. It definitely puts things into perspective. I certainly needed this today.
What a great post! We have all taken things for granted or not realizing how good we have things even when times get tough, so it’s always great to go back and reflect.
Always the best advice, I really needed this today!!