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How To Truly Appreciate All That You Have Before It’s Gone

By on 06/11/2016
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Be grateful for what you have. Don’t take anything for granted. Count your blessings.

We have all heard these sayings one too many times, as they are literally everywhere. And the truth is that we all try our best to do these things. We recognize that it is important to be grateful for what we have, as we know that there are many less fortunate people who survive on much less.

Recognizing what you have and truly appreciating what you have are two entirely different things.

Many of us acknowledge what we are thankful for, but fail to appreciate it’s worth until it is gone.

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What if I told you that your true appreciation has the ability to change your life forever? I know, this might sound strikingly similar to the annoying lecture you’ve probably received from your parents a billion times as you grew up; but instead of TELLING you to be grateful, I am telling you HOW to appreciate all that you have in life, which is far more useful.

I myself, learned this lesson the hard way. It took me losing everything for me to realize just how much I had to begin with.

I used to be a fit, active, bubbly person who loved life immensely. I was a competitive basketball player who spent my entire adolescent life striving towards my dream of playing College basketball. The hours, days, weeks, years I poured into basketball, all with the goal of pursuing a College scholarship fizzled down the drain when my world was turned upside down.

But little did I know that waving goodbye to my life long dream, was going to be the least of my worries.

I was diagnosed with a chronic illness which has sucked the life out of me emotionally and physically. I merely spend most of my time at home, surviving, not living.

But seeing as I have so much time on my hands, it is very easy to focus on all that I don’t have. And it is only natural for anyone that is going through a difficult time to be constantly reminded of there loss. Because as humans, if you give us enough time we can literally think ourselves into a bad mood by dwelling on all that is wrong in our world.

But what if we used this power to think ourselves into a good mood? What if we truly appreciated all that was good in our world? How can we truly appreciate all that we have BEFORE it could be taken away?

 1. Expect Nothing.

In its simplest form, our expectations is what hurts us the most. Everyday I wake up and see the lives of all my friends around me- partying, studying, working and socializing. And knowing I can’t do those things hurts.

Although what 99% of people my age are doing with their lives, does not mean that I am entitled to that life. It does not mean that I have to have the same expectations.

In fact, none of us are entitled to anything; we just simply need to do the best with what we are given. Because when we learn to let go of what we expect from life, we start to see what we already have.

2. Picture Your Life With Nothing.

My mother always told me that there is always somebody out there that is worse off than you. And it’s true. As much as we think our world couldn’t be much worse during our life crises, the truth is it could be much worse.

When we lose a person, a sport, a dream, or the simple ability to go for a walk, we realize just how much these things add to our lives.

Visualize your life without your health, without your home and without your family, and temporarily feel all the emotions you would feel if those things were to be taken away. By picturing what our life would be without a certain someone or something, we start to see it’s value. And valuing all the beauty that is around us, is really all that happiness is.

 3. Voice Your Appreciation.

Although there are a lot of things in this world that I don’t have, it has forced me to look at all that I do have. Without the support of my parents and best friends, I would not be still here conquering this illness with all that I’ve got.

As I am so close to them, I tend to assume that they already know how much they mean to me. We are all guilty of doing it. As we just expect that those closest to us already know how much we love and appreciate them when really we don’t tell them nearly enough.

Voicing your appreciation to not only them, but talking in general about all that is good in your world, can and will change your entire outlook on life in a matter of seconds. It is so easy for us to only talk about our problems and not our joys. As hard as it can be at times, forcing our brains to dwell on the good is the most positive step we can ever take in our life.

If I have learned anything from this illness, it is that everything in life is just temporary.

Your relationships will come and go, your health will come and go, your dreams will come and go. But the one thing you have control over, is your appreciation towards what you do have, right now. That alone, is enough to live an extremely meaningful and happy life.

Photo Credit: magdeleine.co

Taylor Mosslar
Taylor is studying a Bachelor of Creative Industries majoring in Film and Television Production and minoring in Creative Writing. She loves basketball, yoga, James Franco and Jimmy Fallon.
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