#Thankful: Appreciate Your Struggles

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Written by Contributor Writer Alee’a Ulsh-Cherry

 

The month of November reminds us the importance of being thankful for what we have. It teaches us that no matter how hard your situation may be, there’s always something to be thankful for, whether it be someone you’re thankful for, the basic necessities, or even just being alive for another day. One of the biggest things that I’ve learned is to walk by faith and not by sight in whatever I do. Being a Christian, I have learned to trust God and why he does the things that he does. There have been plenty of instances where I would be confused and upset because of the cards that I was dealt. But, each time I get through each situation, it makes it easier for me to trust my faith and to not focus on the distractions. God has great things in store for me, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work in the process.

 Appreciate Your Struggle

Everyone encounters obstacles within their lifetime. Some are more difficult than others, but we all have to learn to overcome them. As for me, I have encountered many struggles in regards to finances. I’ve taken financial responsibility for myself as early as middle school by paying for what I could. Now, I take care of all of my financial obligations. But, as we all know life does love to thrown curve balls and that’s what I’ve been continuously dealing with for years. It’s extremely stressful, but at the end of the day I know that in the future I will be financially stable because of the habits that I’ve acquired. I know and appreciate the value of a dollar and that will help me to fully treasure what I will be able to have in the future. I’ve learned to be extremely humble.

Appreciate Absence

I grew up without the influence of a stable father figure on my life. Because of that my mother and my oldest sister had to take over his role, mainly in regards to finances. It hurt me to see the healthy bonds that my friends and their fathers had because I knew that I would never have that. I blamed him for my financial struggle and the empty space that I have in my heart. I still have a problem dealing with the fact that I will never be able to have that space filled in my life. But, because of his actions I’ve learned to be a stronger individual. I learned to never depend on a man for happiness. Because of him I learned to never settle for anything less than what I deserve when searching for a partner. Most of all, I learned to forgive. I learned to forgive him for everything he hasn’t done. I learned to accept that he wasn’t there and he won’t take the role that I want him to. I learned to accept him for who he is. You can’t force change upon another person; you have to let them do it themselves.

Appreciate What Is There

In my opinion, it shouldn’t have to take a month for people to express what they’re thankful for. The people and things we have in our daily lives are what we forget about the most. Unfortunate events can happen at unexpected times that can take away those people and things that we hold dear to us. So, with that being said, make sure to count your blessings, show your loved ones how much you care for them, and appreciate the little luxuries that you have. There is always someone out there that has it worse than you.

Now, What Do I Appreciate?

I am thankful for five wonderful women in my life. My mother, grandmother, two older sisters, and my aunt. These women are my family. They are the ones that helped shape me into the young lady that I have grown to be. They have supported me through everything, the good and the bad. They are the reasons why I strive to be the best that I can be. My family has taught me that nothing is perfect. We are a family of women and only women and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My struggles have taught me to be strong by presenting obstacles that I had to overcome in order to prepare me for anything else that could be thrown my way. Lastly, absence has taught me to not dwell on what’s not there and to just accept things the way they are. Overall, I am #thankful for everything I have and also everything that I don’t have. Either way, I always remember to count my blessings!

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