Good Old-Fashioned Gratitude


I am not always as grateful as I would like to be. I can often get weighed down by grouchiness, irritability and frustration. I am trying mightily to turn this trend around. Here is an example.

Sometimes at work I experience the all too common problems of conflict with co-workers, slowness at getting things done, and the multiple challenges presented by the client population that I work with. A more  positive way of thinking about this is: I am thankful that I have a fulfilling position doing the work that I love. I am thankful for the opportunities to learn about how I can more effectively deal with others while remaining true to myself. I am thankful for the processes and policies that are in place and which allow for discussion, careful consideration, and prudence. I am thankful for being able to be a loving presence in the lives of my clients and for them allowing me to join them on their journeys.

I am ever thankful for the opportunities that I have had in the field of art therapy. It has by no means been an easy path. Had I known just how challenging it would be, I might have chosen something else. But that is the blessing, we don’t know what lies ahead or we probably would never attempt anything! I am thankful that I persevered in times of instability and doubt. I am thankful that I have a broad network of professional colleagues who inspire and challenge me. I am thankful for the readers of this blog-7,500 hits to date! I am thankful for all that I learn from my students and interns and for the opportunity to be a teacher and a supervisor.

I am thankful for my clients. I have learned countless lessons from them over the years including the value of endurance and persistence in the face of medical and mental illness, the radical hopefulness of waking up every morning and putting your feet on the floor, and the power of love in the therapeutic alliance (more to come on that topic!). The sharp contrast between many of their lives and mine makes me ever grateful for my home, my friends, my family, my health  and my freedoms.

I am even thankful for  conflict. It makes me examine my own ideas, values and needs. It helps me to stand up for myself and figure out what is important enough to go to the mat for. It challenges me to do my best and be strong.

And, dear reader, I am thankful for you. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts with me. Thank you for considering my ideas. Thank you for your contributions to the field. Thank you for your creative spirits. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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