I want to share a powerful lesson on gratitude that I learned during the early days of my spinal cord injury recovery. It was 6 weeks after my injury, while still in the hospital, that I experienced a true Thanksgiving miracle.
Just a week before the holiday, I woke up feeling some faint sensation in my left big toe. Thrilled, I told my doctor, a senior neurologist at the Mayo Clinic, expecting encouragement. Instead, he coldly dismissed it as a phantom feeling, telling me, “You will never move your legs again.” I was crushed.
Yet I refused to accept his verdict. I recommitted to my therapy with new passion. And then on Thanksgiving morning, the impossible happened – I successfully wiggled the very same toe that buzzkill doctor said I would never move again! Oh, how I wished Doctor Phantom could have been there to see it.
In that moment, the significance was profound. Something as small as a toe wiggle filled me with immense gratitude. It taught me that gratitude isn’t limited to life’s grand blessings. It can be found anywhere, anytime, if we open our eyes to appreciate life’s little miracles.
This Thanksgiving, I hope we can all tap into this mindset. Our lives are filled with so much distraction, envy, and discontentment that we often miss the abundance of reasons, big and small, to give thanks. But the capacity for gratitude lives within us all. We need only the will to find it.
Wishing you all a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving!
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