Yesterday on my daily walk, I ran into an acquaintance who is staying near my family for a little while. A bit anxious but wanting to be polite, I stopped to chat. Her bright smile and quick laughter helped me to feel more at ease. After inquiring about my family, she asked me what I planned for the remainder of the day. As I explained the Dominican Republic recipes I would be cooking for my family, she leaned forward with interest.
“What else do you like to do?” She inquired after we discussed my new passion for cooking. Taking a quick breath, I attempted to answer one of my least favorite questions. As I stumbled over my words trying to describe my hobbies (or lack thereof), the woman grinned without any pity. Before turning to leave, she remarked, “Wow, you are so gifted!”
After she left, I stood dumbfounded for a moment. Me, gifted? I was the kid who spent time at home instead of hanging out with friends, competing in sports, or working several jobs. While my siblings excelled, everything I touched seemed to fall apart or, at best, be average. Why did this woman think that I had anything to offer?
However, as I thought about it, I realized that I am being ungrateful by degrading myself and hating the qualities I have. These are the gifts that I have been given whether I like them or not. And I can choose to use them to help create a beautiful hopeful world or to tear down others. Every day, I strive to be a light in the darkness. However I cannot do that without also caring for myself and acknowledging my skills. Thus I decided that for Thankfulness Thursday I am going to take on the hardest topic yet: my talents and positive qualities. Part of me is furious about this list but I know that self-love is a necessary part of my healing.
104. Cooking has been a shocking but exciting new coping skill for me. Not only do I enjoy to do it, my elaborate meals have all turned out very well even if they often take a long time.
105. Flower Arranging is something I have done since I was very little. I still love to pick bouquets for my mother.
106. Longing to be helpful is a good quality that I have. Although I mess things up sometimes, I do want to help others.
107. Sensitivity makes things more painful and beautiful. I am extremely sensitive to the pain of others.
108. Honesty has been something I have always striven to have. I am not perfect but I rarely lie.
109. Creativity can be taken overboard as I have often figured out. However, I do love the fact that I have a vivid imagination and creativity.
110. Care for everything stems partly out of my sensitivity. Even plants and animals I treat with respect.
111. School and Brain Power – ok, so I don’t feel like I’m smart. But I get good grades, am in an honor society, and others have said that I am so I am trying to allow myself to believe them.
112. Writing is a skill that I have used from a very young age. I am continuing to strengthen in it and learn more about how to improve.
113. Working hard is something my parents taught me since a very young age. When I do something, I put my all into it.
114. Music is something I love. For years, I have studied, practiced, and performed it. I miss it a great deal but hope that I have some talent left.
115. Respect for all is important to me. Even if someone is cruel to me, I want to treat them with kindness.
116. Depth instead of being shallow has been something I have striven for. I try not to live on the surface but to dig down to a deeper level.
117. Ability to see beauty in everything and everyone is another good quality that I always strive to have.
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