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My View: Learning to be grateful for my hands

By Sheila McKay

I have a beautiful book, "Everyday Gratitude" put out by The Network for Grateful Living, which is my  favorite website. The book is a collection of inspirational quotes with accompanying questions and also some gratefulness practices. One of the gratefulness practices is "Honoring Your Hands."

My hands and fingers allow me to do so much, it is hard to know where to begin.We live in this age with all the miracles of modern technology, which connects the whole world. With my hands, I am able to pick up the tablet I have, turn it on and use my fingers to touch the keys to write this article. I am able to email my brother in Colorado, my pen-friend in England — anyone, anywhere in the world. I can use my cell phone. During the day, I often have a CD playing of sound healer Steven Halpern's music. I can put the CD in, push the on button and control the volume.

Eating is such a great pleasure. I can prepare the food, use the appliances to cook it, pushing the buttons on the microwave, etc. I am able to lift the food on the utensils to my mouth and savor each bite of food and lift a glass to drink life-sustaining water.

Being able to drive is such a blessing and offers so much independence. I am able to press the button that automatically unlocks the door of my car and then open the door, put the keys in the ignition, move the lever to shift gears and use the steering wheel and all the other features as needed. I can turn on the headlights.

As great as email is, one of my true pleasures is writing letters, notes and cards to people. I can hold the pen and enjoy corresponding with friends and family about what is going on or just sending a card or note to say hello or maybe a thank-you for a kindness received.

I love my daily walks and on my walks I pick up litter in service to Mother Earth. My hands allow me to do this.

I go grocery shopping about twice a week. I can push a shopping cart, pick up all the food and items in the store I want, put the items on the register and get the money out of my wallet or write a check (I don't use credit cards) to pay. I put the filled bags I have in the trunk of my car and carry them into my apartment when I get home.

When you go through a day being aware of your hands, you realize that most everything you do involves your hands in some way. Think of all the lights you turn on and off, open and close doors, etc. The list is endless.

I am 65 years old and most of my life I rarely thought about my hands or was grateful for them. Yet, they continued to be of incredible service to me, despite my indifference and lack of gratitude for them. Honestly, for the majority of my life I have taken so much for granted and was not grateful for all that I had. Even with my lack of gratitude, The Higher Power of the Universe (God or whatever you choose to call it) continued to shower me with an abundance of blessings. That is unconditional love. When I think of that, it almost moves me to tears.

I now honor and am profoundly grateful for my hands, my entire body and life. I am so abundantly blessed.

Sheila McKay says that living gratefully has transformed her life.

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