I love this wonderful blog post from our regular guest poster Amy.
Snap. I have taken my first photo and my 365 journey has officially begun.
Snap. I have taken my 50th photo and I am starting to feel change.
Snap. 104 photos in my album and I am beginning to heal.
Snap. 223 and I am definitely feeling happy with so much to be grateful for.
Snap. Up to 300 and I now feel alive.
Snap. 365 - Time to start living!
My 365 Grateful Project was in many ways just the beginning for me. The first step in renovating my life. Since completing my project I have started to repair some of the cracks, clean up the areas in my life where grime had begun to build and polish the areas that I know used to shine and could again.
Doing this also meant that I had to open a shoebox that I had stored in the darkest place and for so long I had chosen to ignore. In this box I had placed memories that I hadn’t been able to face for over 10 years.
You are probably thinking, “Man, what horrific trauma did this girl endure?”.
I am not sure I can call it a horrific trauma, but I am pretty sure that is what my later teenage years felt like at the time. Yes, that’s right… my later teenage years filled with endless emotion, loads of dramatic tension, heartbreak and bad decisions.
Such a profound effect did this time have on me that I was unsure whether I could lift the lid on the box. I thought I had filled the box with regret and pain, but when I finally summoned up the courage to open it I found it was filled with love, friendship, excitement of things to come, life’s biggest lessons and the foundations on which I was built. I could see the mistakes I had made but I could also see they were lined with hope. Hope that one day I would know what to do with them.
And I do.
“Get closure. Heal all the rifts in your life. Apologize if it’s overdue. Release anything or anyone that’s hanging over your head. Speak to someone who’s not speaking to you or to whom you are not speaking. Forgive them. Forgive yourself. Any unresolved issues, fallings out or grudges can hinder progress and render you incapable of flying high through life.” (Anthea Paul, Girlosophy).
I am grateful for those years in my life where I had the chance to make mistakes.
I am grateful to that boy in my biology class that taught me how to love.
I am grateful for my friend Joanna who held my hand through those years and who welcomed me back in her life just last week with open arms and forgiveness.
I am grateful for the power of enduring friendship and the gift of kindred spirits. (Thank you Mel and Cath.)
But most of all, I am grateful that I survived!
That shoebox is part of who I am and instead of continuing to hide those memories away, I am going to leave the lid open and embrace them.
365 Grateful - a documentary about the extraordinary power of gratitude