xx Celebrating Who We Are and What We Have

Today we have reasons to celebrate for what an unbelievable life we have so far: the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make us stronger. Just as a gem cannot be polished without friction, nor can a life be perfected without trials. Let us take some time to acknowledge our life and to praise ourselves.

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.-–Charles Dickens

When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present... we experience heaven on earth. Abundance is to see that there are endless possibilities before us. And at the same time, still see an incredibly rich existence right where we are. It is a feeling of gratitude for everything and everyone we have in our life. Here's an inspiring story inspired by the writings of Steve Goodier.

An old story tells of an unhappy and discontented stonecutter. One day he came upon a merchant and was awe-struck by all of the marvelous goods the man had for sale. “I wish I were a merchant,” said the Stonecutter and, quite amazingly, his wish was granted.

Not long afterward he saw a parade pass his little shop. Spying a Prince dressed in splendor such as he had never before seen, he said, “I wish I were a prince.” And he became one.

But it wasn’t too many days later that he stepped outside and felt the discomfort of the hot summer sun beating down upon his head. “Even a Prince cannot stay cool in the sun,” he said. “I wish I were the sun.” This wish, too, was granted.

He was happy being the sun until, one day, a cloud came between him and the earth. “That cloud overshadows me,” he said. “I wish I were a cloud.”

Again, his wish was granted and he was happy until he came to a mountain that he could not rise above. “This mountain is greater than I,” he said. “I wish I were a mountain.”

As a tall and mighty mountain he looked down upon the affairs of humans and felt that he was finally happy. But one day a stonecutter climbed up his side and chipped away at rock and there was nothing he could do about it. “That little man is more powerful than I,” the mountain said. “I wish I were a stonecutter.”

So the circle was completed and now the stonecutter knew that he would always be happy just being himself. He would never dress like a Prince, shine like the sun nor rise as tall as a mountain, but he was happy to be who he was.

A sure way to unhappiness is to compare yourself to others. Like someone aptly said, “The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but it still has to be mowed.” You are who you are and that is to be celebrated.

By Tim Pedrosa

The most pitiful poverty is that of man who has more than he needs but feels he doesn't have enough. If your treasure is on Earth, you are going from it; if it is in Heaven, you are going to it.