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Be happy, be grateful

Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - September 1, 2020 - 12:00am

What are you grateful for?

Last year, I started a daily gratitude journal to record one, two or five reasons to be grateful for. This was also the time when Nanay was sick and was confined in the hospital for 63 days. For weeks, she was at the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). They were some of our toughest days when the best place was at the feet of the Lord.

I got the idea of writing a gratitude journal from Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou. I think Oprah was the first one to really speak about it in a way that the world heard the idea. It’s good to keep one. Before you start your day, reflect on one or a few things that you are thankful for and write them down on a notebook. Even if things look tough today or for the next few months due to the pandemic, we can always find a number of things to feel happy about and grateful for and the moment we recognize the blessings we have, we become calm and less anxious. We are present in the now and not focused on the “possible” threats of the future.

It’s also heartwarming to express gratitude to our family, friends or even strangers because we affirm the goodness of their hearts. Gratitude also helps people improve their sense of purpose, their relationships, their health, and their motivation to do good towards others.

I learned that many people still have the habit of focusing their attention on things positive through the question, “What are you most grateful for?” which I posted on my Facebook fan page last year. Many gave wonderful answers and I would like to share some of them here in Direct Line.

Benet Ramos-Ocampo said, “Grateful that our Lord never fails.” I agree. When news broke about COVID-19, we were scared; clueless of what’s gonna happen. But to this day, every time I experience fear, I go to that line of the Lord Jesus to Peter, “Why did you doubt?” You shouldn’t be afraid when you have faith.

Vicky Velasquez Naval said she’s grateful for having had the chance of taking care of her parents and her PWD brother until they passed away. “Not all people are given the rare opportunity and I feel so blessed,” she added. It’s true because I also had the chance to be the mother of my Nanay. It was not just a responsibility, but it was my whole being — it was an unshakeable commitment and resolve that she was going to be the center of my universe. She still is.

Cenados Cathy shared, “I’m grateful for who I am now. I owe this to my parents who taught us to be respectful, to be humble and to do what is right.” For me, let us not lose this sense of right and wrong. We are not talking about perfection but every time you are given the chance to use that inner goodness, use it. Above all, be a good Christian to everyone.

Death is the destination we all share and according to Steve Jobs, knowing that we’re going to die is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking that we’re losing something. You and I know that we have many choices in this life but personally my decision after this crisis is, I want to be a better person, a kinder one. I want this world to be a better place. I will start with myself.

Aside from loving yourself, you must also forgive yourself. This crisis has allowed us to face our mortality every single day. It humbled us. There is nothing you can bring to your grave. So, while you are alive, be the best of who you are. Stop living the life of others and instead, stay true to your core.

Cecil Laurel Alinas, Chit Escalante Marquez, Lorna Joson, Wilma Chen and Tana-Diglasan Family expressed their happiness for having wonderful families.

BOY ABUNDA
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