Yesterday as I was lining up for almost an hour at our local bank, with a ton of bills on one hand and my passbook on the other..I took the time to sort of reflect on things. Yes, nagmumuni-muni ako dun habang nakapila! EMO in the BANK-O. Hahaha!:) With all the expenses piling up throughout the holidays, I was getting overwhelmed! My paychecks just magically disappeared all of a sudden. *Kapoooof!* Duma-David Blaine yung pera ko! Just as I was about to rant, I stopped myself and realized that I was actually in a very good position. That I was physically and mentally fit enough to be able to work, that I was actually earning enough provisions to survive, that I didn’t have to do something against my principles and convictions just to pay off a debt. Many people struggle with their finances, their health, their relationships on a daily basis. Life sucks big time. The only stress I had was the fact na “sakto” yung pera ko, so who am I to complain? I didn’t have extra, but God made it so para tamang-tama lang. That’s not a problem, that’s a blessing. 🙂 But it’s not always EASY to see the good in dire situations but here’s something that’s quite interesting to read….
HUWAT?! Ano?! That’s what it says in the Bible?! Wow. That just seems so unrealistic. IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES?! In other words, NO MATTER WHAT?!?! How about if your husband cheats on you? How about if you get fired from your job? How about if your best friend steals a million pesos from you? How do you stay THANKFUL when faced with these crappy life situations? It just doesn’t add up. It just doesn’t make sense. 
As children we were all programmed to understand that THANKFULNESS is a response to something “good”. When someone gives you a toy, you say THANK YOU. When someone grabs your toy, isumbong mo ang bwisit mong kaklase kay Teacher! You don’t say THANK YOU to someone who has wronged you, it just doesn’t compute in a normal person’s head. So now, as a full grown adult with many years of valuable life experiences, it just seems fair to be ungrateful when people hurt you, ungrateful when  you don’t get what you feel you truly deserve, and ungrateful when life gives you pain and heartaches. Tama lang naman yun, diba?
But why would the words “In all circumstances” be written in the Bible? There must be a point to all this, after all, words are put in the Bible for a purpose. It’s not like St. Paul just scribbled these words down to be cool. It’s not like he was trying to impress anyone on Twitter with his vocabulary. He put it in simple terms, no ifs, no buts, no in NO MATTER WHAT, the all encompassing “lahat yan kasama dito kaya wala kang lusot mga tsong at tsang”. 
Earlier, I pondered on this verse and tried to maneuver around it. And how I understand it, with my limited knowledge on God and religion, is just as a girl who believes in the good that can come out of the world..God put each and every one of us on this earth for a purpose. For what purpose, I dont know, I guess only time will tell what purpose we each shall serve. But I do believe that he gives us specific circumstances (both good and bad) for these unique life purposes to take shape and for us to become the people we were destined to be from day one. So the command to be grateful is not to punish us, but to actually help us realize that the path to happiness is through genuine appreciation of God’s plan for us. Gratefulness=Happy Heart. 
I reflected on the question “What are you thankful for?” and surprisingly I came up with quite a long list in my head. I never ever really took the time to jot it down, to be specific. I guess it’s a no brainer to say I’m thankful for friends, family, work, food, chocolates, etc. But one of the things that came to mind is this blog. Like I’ve mentioned many times before, I started blogging back in the day when Facebook and Twitter were non-existent and the easiest way to keep friends in the loop was through a blog. Unintentionally however, simply because I was immature and just didn’t know any better, the blog served as just an online diary…it was all about my thoughts, my dreams, my experiences, my favorite this and that. I took pictures, wrote some funny entries, that was just about it. Then I hit an emotional rut, I went through a life crisis. And just like most of you, I was complaining about life more often..asking “Why me Lord?!” more and more. Before I could even write an entry to rant and ramble about my then shitty life, I took down my blog and chose to go on an online hiatus. In retrospect, I’m thankful I saved myself from falling into a trap of self-pity and ungratefulness. Self-pity is vanity for the weak. And although I understand how difficult it is to go through a very heart-breaking situation, there’s always a point in your life when you just decide to be GRATEFUL instead of resentful. It took a long time to get there, but I got there. 
When I made a conscious effort to change my mindset, to adapt a more GRATEFUL approach to life started to miraculously sort itself out! It didn’t happen overnight though, but slowly it all started to fall into place. I started becoming more hopeful about the things to come, I was more positive in dealing with people, I was more efficient and effective in the workplace, I was more open minded and welcoming of others. With this renewed spirit, I started a new blog…tadah..eto na yun, DAPATTYLAUREL! 🙂 And I vowed to make this a home for positivity and gratefulness. There are days when I literally have to squeeze it out of me..I’m a very moody and cranky person 3 weeks in a month, so it’s not exactly happy-happy-joy-joy for me all the time. Hindi ko kayo bobolahin, mahirap, malungkot, at mabigat ang buhay minsan. Things don’t exactly work out as planned ALL THE TIME..but even in the darkest points of our lives, God is still ever present and that should be enough to be thankful and hopeful for. 
I still write about myself in this blog…umm..because it’s a personal blog, so I really don’t have a choice..hehehehe…but I’ve been trying to inject some other topics in this blog as well. I wanted this to be different from my past blog..I wanted it be about how I can grow with all of YOU: my dear friends, loved ones and readers 🙂 To stay true to my blog title and to invite you all to come waste your time with me!:)

After reading all your emails, I sort of get a feel of what you guys need and if I find myself in the position to help you with something, then I am more than willing to pour out all the useful tips and advice I can give. Kung wala akong mabigay na advice na matino, then I’ll be honest enough to seek out help just so we can learn new things together. I love sharing new discoveries. I was never the type to be “swapang-cool” about things, if I find something nice, unique, and helpful…I always make it a point to share this to everyone. “Swapang-Cool” is that friend of yours who always has something cool to brag about but will never ever bother to tell you where she got it just to deprive you of the joy of having it too. Yung pag tinanong mo kung san niya nahanap “Ay, di ko alam…regalo lang ‘to ng Tita ko!” pero sa Divisoria lang pala niya nabili! AHA! SWAPANG COOL IT IS!

When I watch an inspiring video, I always think to myself “ friends have to watch this!”. It’s easy to just click the close button and keep the coolness all to yourself, but then what’s the point? Cool ka nga, Lonely ka naman! Mas masaya maging cool and interesting together!!! It’s nice to have an exchange of ideas and to be generous! Am I right or am I right?!?!

Same goes for the prizes that I am so happy to share with you guys. Ayoko maging “Swapang Cool”!  Dapat “Sharing Cool” tayo mga kabarkada, just like my ultimate idols, the CARE BEARS. haha! Yes, I just coined two ugly words..feel free to use them anytime. Sadly, wala akong budget to buy 40,000 goodie bags for all of you each week…I can only afford to give a few treats here and there. Nakukulitan na siguro yung mga kaibigan kong sponsors because I always ask for gifts for my readers. I’m not really marketing savvy so I’m just very direct and say “Can I share this experience with my readers?” and thankfully, they always gladly oblige. It’s important for me to be able to give you an opportunity to experience things with me because it makes me feel more connected to all of you. If I discover a new moisturizer, I’d like someone to try it too..or if I eat at a new restaurant, I’d like someone to enjoy a meal there as well! I too learn from all your tweets and emails, so it’s a win-win for us both. 🙂

So to my dear blog readers, pagbigyan niyo na ako, indulge me as I mush all over the place. Pasko na, maraming ilaw na kumikinang-kinang sa labas at kumakanta pa si Jose Mari Chan. HELLO?!?! HE’S JOSE-FRICKIN-MARI-BLOODY-CHAN!!! I’m sure there are skeptics and cynics out there, and I can’t please you all and I won’t even try. I write, I post, I share..because these are things that come from an honest place of gratefulness. When you have experienced how it is to be completely broken then healed by God, only then will you understand this corniness. I am grateful for the second, third, and fourth chances God has given me. I am grateful for this platform to speak my mind. I am grateful to have my super supportive readers. I am grateful that the jokes that I think are funny are actually funny pala (phew! buti nalang!bumebenta naman pala ako!). I am grateful that I have stress, that I have a job, that I am able to pay my bills. I am grateful for all of YOU. I am grateful that even at times when I am NOT grateful, when I’m a brat, when I am difficult and stubborn..that God remains faithful and waits patiently for me to regain my gratefulness again. 🙂

24 Responses to HOW TO BE GRATEFUL

  1. Again, your blog never fails to inspire me Miss Patty! God bless you. I always thank God that despite the monthly bills, I am able to pay them, that I am not getting sick even if I work graveyard shift, that I’m able to pick up my kids from school after office. Indeed, God is good all the time & ALL THE TIME, GOD IS OH SO GOOD. Ayan, teary-eyed na ako. Ehehe…

  2. This is a beautiful entry Patty. Very real, very heartfelt. Blogwalkers want to read something real and relatable. I totally get the Swapang Cool term. But yours is very real, grounded, and I hope you know that this is entry/blog is healing not just you but others too. Keep it up Patty. You are inspiring.

  3. Hi Patty 🙂 I’m so glad that you blogged about being grateful because I’ve just written an article about it lately. My ideas were validated by this relevant post. The words ‘grateful’ and ‘honor’ have made a huge impact in my life and i try to use them on a daily basis.

    Keep on inspiring people 🙂

  4. These are just the words that I need to read right now 🙂 Thanks Ms. Patty for posting something like this, it enlightened me. Just this morning I lost money, of course I was feeling bad about it! But when I read your post, I thought I should not feel bad at all. There’s still some money left in my pocket. And I should be thankful coz I still have some! Thanks again for inspiring us, your readers 😉

  5. Oh my… I don’t know what to say … Tinamaan ako dito sa post mo. I am grateful for the good things happening in my life but I am just having a shitty life right now… Thanks for reminding me to be grateful, I hope that I will also get there… 🙂

  6. wow Ms. Patty nakakaralate ako sa post mo:)

    I’m also a blogger and my advocacy is “I blog not to IMPRESS but to INSPIRE”

    I love your blog. Nakaka-Inspire talaga 🙂

    Keep writing Ms. Patty 🙂 God Bless

  7. very nice thoughts, patty! Thanks for all the things you’ve shared through this blog.

    I waste my time daily (or several times a day hehe) reading and re-reading your posts because I get a lot of inspiring thoughts from you.

    You have a beautiful heart. :d

  8. This entry is so REAL and INSPIRING. I am grateful that there are still people who are thankful for what they have, no matter how much or how less–people like you, Miss Patty. You really inspired me. 🙂

  9. This post made me teary-eyed! AWWW, Idol Patty! You really, really, really (to the trillionth time) REALLY inspire me!

    THANK YOU. 🙂

    P.S: I’m also planning to have a “gratitude” notebook or planner come 2012 and list down at least three things I’m grateful/thankful for EVERYDAY! This post just gave me that much needed “boost!” Mwah.

  10. Longest post to date? But very meaningful that my heart delights to see how the Lord reveals Himself to you tenderly and He is using this platform for the advancement of His kingdom.

    Through our tough times, Paul also wrote “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

    2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

  11. that is one of the most beautiful honest write ups from a person who knows God and is a follower of Jesus. 🙂

  12. Naiisip ko din yan minsan while paying bills. Ako, I have credit card debt to keep up with. Slowly but surely mauubos ko din yun. But I am very fortunate, very blessed. Hindi lang equally thankful kaya siguro hindi sobra-sobrang blessed. There are people just over-flowing with blessings at sila yung super greatful, ever prayerful.

  13. Sobrang nakaka inspire. Imagine your blogs can inspire millions of people (actualy countless), kasi if you inspire a person, that person is capable of inspiring his family, friends, co-workers etc.

    Cool. Keep it up.

    FB: Geboy Teodoro

  14. Hi Ms. Patty.. please forgive if i post this post on my blog 🙂

    ohh well thank you for very inspiring post every hit of your fingers.

    thank you

  15. Thanks ms. Patty for your witty jokes that makes me laugh while reading this out loud. You are a new fave. Na-blessed po ako how wonderful and power your message is. Looking for more