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“Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living.” – Travis Barker

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/travis_barker_468582?src=t_thankful

I am grateful for this life. A life filled with adventure, love, learning, and interacting with others. I am grateful for the problems, challenges, sorrows, and mistakes. I am grateful for the teachers and mentors I have benefited from. I am grateful for everything this life has provided to me. Without the challenges, life would be boring.

Think about your life for a moment. How can you be happy without the ability to be sad? How can you be healthy without the ability to be sick? How can you be bored without the ability to be engaged?

We live in a world that is composed of opposites and paradoxes. These opposites are necessary for our existence. Without the valleys there would be no mountains. Without heat there would not be cold. Without problems there would be no solutions.

I am grateful for change. Without change life would be static. There would be no growth, no learning, no experiences worth our while. The changes that come in our lives make life interesting. They keep us on our toes. They spurn learning, particularly when life tosses us an unpleasant surprise.

Think about the last time you were sick. When you get better you cherish the health that returns. Think about the last time you lost a loved one. When you find a new partner, pet, or friend you cherish that relationship more because you have felt loneliness, emptiness, and sorrow.

Think about when you learned the most. It is likely a time of stress, peril, and uncertainty. Without the opposites that are ever-present in our lives, we would have nothing to compare the good times with. They would all just be. This would cause problems because our minds could not grasp good or bad, up or down, light or dark. We need change. We need the opposites. We need the ups and downs of life.

Each year around this time, I contemplate my life. I look at past mistakes. I look at past victories. I look at my experiences. Some of these experiences have been unpleasant. Some of these experiences have been wonderful. Some of these experiences have been horrible. Some of these experiences have been healing. With each experience we go through we come out of them stronger, wiser, and more loving.

Why is the world set up this way? Why are we here? We are here to learn how to give love and receive love. We are here to become stronger spiritually. We are here to contribute to one another and participate in life. Your life is about learning, teaching, communicating, and contributing. Right now, you are the strongest and best you have ever been.

I invite you to do the same thing I am doing. Contemplate your life. Find those time periods where you had great success. Find the times your life was turned inside out. Look for patterns. You’ll be amazed when you see how each problem or challenge you faced made you stronger and put you in a situation that was better than the situation you were in previously.

Once you have completed this exercise, write down the things you have learned. Write down the things you have done. Write down the things you would like to do. Then get around to doing them. Live a life of meaning, purpose, and achievement. What else do you have to do?

I hope you are having a great time this year. I hope you have some goals you are committed to. I hope you are laying the plans for a great 2019. I wish all of you well on your journey this year.

Until next time…