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Gratitude Beyond Measure: Embracing Blessings Amidst Life's Challenges (154)

The other day, while driving on Garvey Avenue in El Monte, I spotted a middle-aged Asian man whom I've occasionally seen on this avenue for the past few years. He’s handicapped, walking with a walker, often carrying grocery bags. This time, his health seemed more deteriorated, and his walk appeared very difficult. My heart sank as I felt his pain during this holiday.

No matter where I find myself, I don’t allow self-pity. I’ve always been a tough person, capable of overcoming any obstacles. I'm still blessed to have family and good friends who rescue me in troubled times, and I'll never forget their support.

At times when you feel depressed with no way out, opening your eyes and heart reveals many lives in worse situations. Some have no place to call home during this winter; imagine how cold that is! Some lack family to come home to, health to enjoy life's basics, or loved ones to lean on in sickness. If, every morning and night, you write down 5-10 things you're grateful for over the next 30 days, your life will improve, and your depression will fade. You'll be too busy feeling blessed to dwell on self-pity.

I use spoken and written words to make sense of life. Some nights, to lull myself to sleep, I keep busy by reading, writing, and watching comedies. I selectively focus on positive thoughts and content. Through this practice, I've eliminated negative thoughts. The positive energy I consume daily pushes out any negativity.

If you ever feel sorry for yourself, visit a homeless person. Offer them a sleeping bag and food in this cold weather, give a woman your old sweater, or provide a child with bread and toys. By serving the less fortunate, you’ll automatically feel blessed.

Currently, I possess nothing in material terms, yet I feel blessed and rich beyond money. I have my health, a good head on my shoulders, a warm heart, loving friends and family, a decent pension, and future retirement benefits. I still possess the ability to make money and care for my family.

Always count your blessings, not your deficiencies. However, the most important asset isn't material; it's your sense of purpose. With it, you can stay strong and face life's challenges with your head held high.

Find your purpose and pursue it relentlessly. Happiness will stay with you thereafter. ♥️

Crystal H. Vo

November 26, 2023

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