Because of personal challenges and the injustice I experienced, for a long time I was angry and unappreciative about my life. I did not care about the fact that I was still here; rather I was upset about the way I was still here. Lets face facts. There is nothing I can do to alter or change my past, its effects or consequences, but over time I have learned a key thing that has helped me develop a different attitude in the way I think about my circumstances and life –that is to be thankful.
Having an attitude of thankfulness has released me to grow into an emotionally, mentally and spiritually mature woman. I know some people might not appreciate this sentiment and may even feel offended that I would suggest, in the face of much adversity to have such an attitude, but learning to be thankful no matter what comes my way has helped me in my healing.
There is power in choosing to be thankful about the smallest of things. It has been an antidote to complaining, as at times I have been guilty of doing this lot, especially in regards to one certain area of my life that I REALLY dislike.
My experience of life this far has taught me- things can happen unexpectedly, and problems, which there always seems to be plenty of, can and will happen. So with each challenge or situation I get through I now choose to use these times as a reminder to be thankful about how far I have come.
I have at times taken for granted the fact that I can and have continuously spoke out about my past abuse and that my life is not defined by it. Many survivors have not been able to face what has happened to them. I have met and known incest survivors that have been made pregnant by their Father- I am thankful that I never ended up with a baby conceived in abuse. I am thankful because even though I emotionally struggle with life at times, I have never had to go back into a mental hospital because of a third breakdown. I am thankful that my children never had to go through what I went through or been in the care system, even though others tried to make it their hand, God never allowed it. More than anything I am thankful for the chance and opportunity God has given me to reach my full potential and the love of a real family.
I have learned to recognise the blessings in times of adversity. It has not always been this way but focusing on the ‘could have, should have been’ was robbing me of potential to grow and the ability to appreciate the here and now. It was unfortunate that I went through the things I experienced, but they have helped shape me into the woman I am today.
My encouragement to you is; try and find one thing in your day to be thankful about- you will be surprised at how it will gradually change your outlook on life. As survivors we cannot change the injustice of our violation but we can change how we allow it to define our view of life.