Today is Thursday and that means a bit of inspiration for all who are trying to live with chronic conditions.
Luckily, between my many orthopedic operations and my chronic Lyme, I’ve been able to amass a large collection of things that help me remember how very lucky I really am.
This little 3 inch jar is one of my very favorite tools.
A friend of mine sent it over after a particularly difficult knee surgery. Things hadn’t gone as expected and I was left in a lot of unrelenting pain.
“Here,” she said. “I saw this and thought of you.”
It was originally intended to be a wish jar. The instructions said to remove the 12 glass stars and then make a wish as you returned each star back to the jar.
Sometimes, when things are really tough, wishes are too difficult to think about. What was I going to say?
I wish I could run again?
I wish I could sleep without being woken up by my pain?
All of the wishes I could think of were only reminding me of what I *didn’t* have anymore.
So instead I turned it into a blessings jar. Several times a day I emptied the stars out and one by one I returned them to the jar with a statement of being grateful for what I had.
I’m grateful I can make it across the room without crutches.
I’m grateful for that 45 minute nap I was just able to take.
It’s all about taking your situation and approaching it from a different angle. It’s also about choosing to dwell on the positive instead of the negative.
Did it eliminate all of my negative thoughts? Not at all. Those still managed to poke through on occasion.
But did it help?
It did, it sure did.
You don’t need a tiny jar filled with stars, if you wanted to make one of these you could take a glass jar and fill it with pebbles.
Or you could just hold the star jar in your mind and when things get tough, count out your blessings, star by star.
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.