“I’ll Never Be Satisfied?” Here Are the Reasons You’re Wrong
We get to decide who we are
Today was the day. Today I would tell her.
My heart was beating so loud, could she hear it? I knew I was on dangerous ground with every fibre of my being.
“Mom, you know that plaid dress I have?… I… really don’t like it.”
There. It was said. Come what may, I needed to celebrate. I shared an opinion. One that didn’t mirror hers. One of my very own.
When you come from a dysfunctional home, you don’t know it. To you it’s familiar, like a worn out chair you fit in perfectly.
In all fairness, I don’t remember what my mom’s day was like. But because there were five children, six if you count dad, I’m sure her platter was full.
I remember she stopped. Narrowed her eyes, which by the way is never a good sign, and her words flew.
I know they flew because they pierced me in a way I haven’t been able to shake.
“You are ungrateful and you’ll never be satisfied.”
I froze. Was that true? When you’re 14, everything your parents say is true, at least in our house. And you never, EVER question a parent. We learned the hard, painful way.
Didn’t I know that rule? Why did I even try to voice my opinion?
Who needed her to yell at me, I was perfectly capable of brow-beating myself. And I’d have a lifetime to perfect it.
Lesson learned. I didn’t tell her what I thought again. It was much easier to just agree. The people pleaser in me was born.
What I didn’t know, was that I’d only have her for two more years. One night she missed work and three days later, we stood at her coffin. But when she died, those words stayed behind.
And I had a choice. Would I live as if they were true?
No. And here are the reasons.
I got married years later and one thing I wanted more than anything was a family. I was thankful for my family. My husband and I lived in Germany and we got to travel on weekends. We got to see the beautiful world that was out there. I was thankful for that experience.
One day I found out I was pregnant. A couple days later I was not. But the way I dealt with that was the same way I had learned before. Just deny it’s true. They must have been wrong. After all, if I was pregnant, something must have been wrong. So I dismissed it. Him or her. It never happened.
Then a couple of years later I had a real pregnancy and a real child. We dressed him with little hats we had the best time with this real boy. We named him Nathan, which means gift from God, and he was and is.
And three years later I was pregnant again, and then not. I thought I miscarried but brought in what I passed for confirmation. They thought the baby was still in me. They wanted me to wait a week and to have an ultrasound.
“So, do you want a boy or girl.” Hope grew with each word the technician spoke.
“I’m sorry,” the doctor said moments later. “There is no baby.”
But this time it was harder. This time I had believed them.
And then I was told to wait a year to get pregnant. I had come in contact with someone who had TB. A year? A year felt like forever.
But I did it. And my stored anger turned to bitterness.
My son who was six. My gift. He and I would take the pink booties I had kept on the refrigerator and we’d pray for a sister for Nathan.
And God answered those many prayers. Jessica was born.
And though she was only 3 1/2 pounds, she was mine. And I was grateful. For not one gift but two. Thank you for my family.
And our kids grew taller and taller as all kids do and now they are adults. And my one gift, Nathan got married and he and Heather had gifts of their own.
Not one, not two, but five. And even though one of the gifts is waiting for us in heaven, we got to meet her and love her for fourteen months. And do you know what? I’m grateful.
Gratefulness is a choice
People say things. And sometimes they don’t think before the words leave their mouths. Wanna know how I know that? Because I’m guilty of the same thing. But I’m thankful we can always go back and apologize when we hurt others with our words.
I see so many things I’m thankful for. My health. That the spot the doctor saw on my liver is gone, even though he told me they never disappear.
I’m thankful my husband’s heart attack wasn’t fatal, but that it helped us see the value of eating right.
I’m thankful we are learning to be more active physically.
I’m thankful for everything I have.
Want to know the secret of being thankful? It’s looking up. When you look around you have the tendency to notice things you don’t have. Things you wish you had.
But when you look up, you see God. And you’re reminded of just how much he’s given you.
People say things. But that doesn’t mean we have to believe them.
I am satisfied. I’m grateful.
Mom was wrong.
Call to Action:
What about you? Would you consider yourself a grateful person?
What are you thankful for?
Do you wish you could be more grateful?
I’d love to hear from you.