Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

From Gratitude to Praise

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

By guest blogger: Unami Mulale
I spent the majority of my 3 years of Pediatric Critical Care training angry and bitter. I did not understand. I never understood why children had to suffer and sometimes die, especially in some of the most heart wrenching situations. If I had not felt that this was my calling, I would have quit long ago; in my head, I quit several times. But I could not walk away from what I feel is where God would have me be. I have always hated suffering, and have always let God know so. We have had many a conversation about this, God and I. I never thought I would be immersed in the field as part of my daily life, hoping to alleviate pain as much as possible. I pray daily to be the Master’s great tool, that I may be used to remove as much pain as possible. I used to think of myself as a healer, but then I realized that is not what Jesus had placed me here for. I am here to care, no matter the outcome, I am here to care for those whose paths will cross with mine. If the outcome is healing, God be praised all the more! But if the outcome is not healing, those that remain on earth need to know that someone had cared. I care with my whole heart. I am not the keeper of days, only He knows our appointed times. In the last of those days for my patients, I will be there to show concern, and bring comfort. Should God add to their days, I will be grateful in knowing that I had somehow impacted that situation.

At the start of last year (2010), I accepted that I had changed. The constant anger from the assault that combating critical disease was to my soul had changed me. I would like to say that I was an unbendable Christian and I was strong, but I would be lying. I was hurt and stained from all the tears of 3 years of intervening as children tried to die. And so a few days after the year began, I decided to choose gratitude instead of anger. I was grateful that God would award me the undeserved honor and privilege of taking care of children, often changing the course of their lives from death to life. I was grateful that I actually had the ability and opportunity to study at the top most level of Pediatrics. I was grateful that I had a dream, and life had carved a path for me to walk towards that dream of making children better.

Little did I know that I would be in the presence of my own mother as she died. We were in an ICU in Botswana that lacked the bare essentials of what I considered to be standard of care. It did not matter that I was trained in Critical Care, this was my mother laying here. As I listened to the joy of heaven as they welcomed her, I felt deeply inadequate. Sad. Alone. Cheated. Broken. But once again, it was time to choose. Like I had done when the year started, I chose gratitude. Grateful that I was at her side. Grateful that she is in a better place. Grateful for the exemplary mother she was. Grateful for the love that she bestowed upon us. Grateful that she had invested so much in me, and my siblings. Grateful that she had shared my life, even coming to New York in the summer. Grateful for all the lives she had touched and changed. Grateful. I chose gratitude.

When I think about her, I choose gratitude over sorrow. It is deliberate and at times near impossible, but I choose gratitude. At the start of this year, I will still choose gratitude, and I will also choose to praise God. I will praise Him for deeming me worthy of my mother for almost 34 years. I will praise Him for allowing me to wake up in the morning and live out her legacy. I will praise Him for the hands that He has given me to do His work. I will praise Him for the heart that He has placed in me to beat for others, to see their lives made whole. I will praise Him.

Happy New Year all! It is going to be sensational, exceptional and full of wonder!

HATERS: Be grateful for them

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Today, while meditating, I actually gave thanks for and expressed deep gratitude for everyone that has ever, either knowingly or unknowingly, hurt me. It may seem strange but the reason why I am grateful for this special group of people is that my experiences with them have caused me to take my growth and personal development to another level.

Anytime that you say something or do something, there are always going to be people who disagree with you, regardless of how good your intentions were. A lot of times, the people in opposition are good, well meaning people but sometimes they are ‘haters’.

So, what are ‘haters’? A ‘hater’ is a slang term used to describe a person who tries to sabotage you or your life just because the glow of your success casts a blinding light on their lack of success or accomplishment.

The key, I’ve learned, is that every action that we take must have a purpose. In knowing its purpose, we must focus on the purpose until whatever it is we set out to do is accomplished. The greater the purpose, the more haters it will attract but I have found that the less attention we give the haters, the smaller they start to look. I have also found that the more attention we give the ‘haters’, the less attention we give to our purpose and as a result, the goals we set for that purpose become less attainable, or worse still, they become entirely unattainable.

As you move through life, understand that “haters’ are going to show up. They may inject doubt, fear and a lack of confidence to whatever you are trying to accomplish. Sometimes they just mock or ridicule you and your ideas or plans. This can be useful because it causes us to be more definite about our purpose and to make plans that can withstand these tests. If your plan lacks a definiteness of purpose, it, along with you, will crumble as soon as a ‘hater’ attacks it. Again, it is more important to give your attention, focus and energy to your purpose and the goals that you set to fulfill your purpose, rather than to the ‘haters’. In addition to working on your goals, it is important to work on yourself and surround yourself with positive, like-minded people who will help you accomplish your goals and give you sound advice without ‘hating’.

As you move to higher levels of accomplishments and success, you will meet a new level of ‘haters’ but that is okay because if you’ve been diligent about focusing on your purpose and you’ve been surrounding yourself with the right people, you’ll be able to see the ‘haters’ for what they are…small people who feel threatened by your greatness. Take Wayne Dyer’s advice and “send them a silent blessing”. Be grateful for them because anytime they appear, it is a sign that you are on your way to accomplishing something great.

Peace

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