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Thankful Thursday

HI! It's Thursday! The workweek is almost over. First a little house cleaning. With school starting back up in 11 short days, plus a new, super, top-secret project that I'm embarking on, I won't be posting except for once or twice a week. I'm planning on at least one post coinciding with the hashtag for the particular day I post. To those who have been reading these consistently-Thanks so much! I would love for people to reach out to me regarding these posts, even to just say hi and where you're from. I would love the feedback!! (hint hint) Every morning I read 2 daily meditation books. The quotes from today's reading both really jumped out at me. They are both from the same person-Seneca.

"Apply yourself to thinking through difficulties-hard times can be softened, tight squeezes widened, and heavy loads made lighter for those who can apply the right pressure."

"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."

Apply yourself to thinking through difficulties... This refers to critical thinking and being resilient. “Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”

– The Foundation for Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is just deliberately and systematically processing information so that you can make better decisions and generally understand things better. The above definition includes so many words because critical thinking requires you to apply diverse intellectual tools to diverse information. Are you able to think; to know how to make connections between ideas and evaluate information critically? In all of my Social Work classes, we are instructed to think critically. Critical thinking is the opposite of regular, everyday thinking. This article is informative if you want to read about one man's approach to critical thinking skills, BUT I challenge you to apply your own critical reasoning skills to it, so you have a better-informed idea. There are other sites on critical thinking if you want to search for them.

Are you resilient? How well do you bounce back from life's challenges, roadblocks, and stressful situations? Yes, life sucks at times. It can get really really bad for us sometimes. We lose our job, we get divorced, a loved one dies, our health goes to pot, etc. There will be a time of grieving, but eventually, we are going to have to come to accept the loss-acceptance is one of the 5 stages of grief, according to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, usually the last stage we encounter. How are you going to accept the loss? Man, if you don't figure out how to deal with it in a healthy way, you are setting yourself up for major issues down the road. When my cousin Jeff completed suicide, I did not deal with it well AT ALL. Sure, I'd been drinking before it happened and getting drunk, but I wasn't really using it as a crutch, but after his death, I really spiraled out of control. It numbed the pain. It hid the hurt. When I drank, I didn't have to think about if I would take my own life by the time I was his age. It was an escape for me. Then when I started smoking crack, not only was I able to self-medicate my pain, it brought on an entirely new set of problems...

Nothing is more honorable than a GRATEFUL heart. See that bold word in purple in the previous sentence? That word GRATEFUL? That word that is connected with GRATITUDE? That is how I learned resiliency. That is how I learned to bounce back from the roadblocks, the challenges, the stressful situations of life. Gratitude is what I finally figured out to get me clean and sober. Yes, I've had times of grieving, especially over my dad's cancer and eventual death from leukemia, but BUT I've had help in finding healthy, positive ways to deal with loss. My mom's philosophy is you have to keep going. She's believed in the power of "One Day At A Time" before I'd even heard about it in 12-step programs. This has been her philosophy forever. I think it's been that way for her since she lost her dad at the age of 2. If her mom, my grandma, had not been resilient in dealing with her husband's death, mom would have NEVER known how to deal with life's challenges. A 12-step saying that I love is "Keep On Keepin' On".

GRATITUDE. G-R-A-T-I-T-U-D-E. Are you tired of that word yet? I hope not, as I've said before, it will be a recurring theme in this blog. ENJOY

til next time....

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