Quote of the Week by Abraham Lincoln
Every week we choose one quote to focus on.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” -Abraham Lincoln
This week we choose a quote by Abraham Lincoln that fits in perfectly with our quest to understand the power of perspective and how it shapes our world, our attitude, our thoughts, and our behavior. I especially love this quote because it also provides an important lesson about gratitude! When you break down this quote from Abraham Lincoln just a bit you can see his message even clearer.
You can complain or you can rejoice.
Ultimately, it’s your choice.
I received a potent lesson from my twelve-year-old son today which addresses both perspective and gratitude. A few weeks ago I found out I have another ovarian cyst that is going to require another surgery. The last one was painful and the whole idea of surgery is something I find terrifying. On top of that, my amazing nephew is coming to visit and I haven’t seen him in years. I was so excited! I had a list of adventures planned. We were going to climb Roan Mountain all the way to the Balds. We were going to Asheville to slide down Sliding Rock. I wanted to take him up Grandfather Mountain. And then there was disk golf at Steele Creek Park. And so much more. On top of that, we had a vacation planned for Myrtle Beach. And then I find out I have to take it easy. The earliest they can get me in is three weeks. And then there is the recovery which will bite into our summer vacation which we have been relishing. It hit me hard.
Before I could catch myself I had fallen into that sticky web of self-pity. It’s an ugly place my friends and I hope to never return. If you are there, start climbing or it will suck the life out of you.
So anyway, I was trying to be strong. I was trying to remain optimistic. I was in pain (still am). I was afraid. My happy mask was becoming transparent.
Then, this afternoon my son asked me to sit down with him.
“What’s wrong, Mom? You seem stressed.” He asked.
“I’m fine.” I insisted. He raised one eyebrow and waited. I smiled reassuringly. He waited…. I started to get up claiming chores to do. He patted the couch for me to sit back down and he waited.
I sighed and spilled.
“I’m feeling bad about M’s visit. I don’t want him to be disappointed. I’m worried about your summer vacation being far less than what I want for you. I don’t like that I have to have this surgery. I’m kind of bummed that I have to put the whole family through this again.” And on I rambled until at last the eyebrow fell. He reached for me and placed a hand on my shoulder.
“Mom, you don’t need to feel guilty about M. He will be happy just to be with his family and we can still do lots of things with him. As for me, this isn’t my last summer. It’s already been amazing. I’m not worried about it at all. And as for Dad, he would do anything in the world to help you get better. He wants to. We are all behind you. Dad and I will even help keep the house clean. We can watch Netflix and we can rent you a bunch of books at the library. We will make it work and you’ll be better in no time. Everybody loves you, Mom and no one would want you to feel guilty. Please don’t.”
Before I could say a word he continued in earnest.
“Besides, we need to be grateful right now. More than anything. Isn’t that what you always say? We should be grateful that there are doctors who know just how to fix this and they are experts. This is no thing for them. We should be grateful that Dad has such a great job and we don’t have to worry about him getting time off. He gets to work from home until you are better! We should be grateful that it didn’t happen during school. Now, that would have stressed you out. We should be grateful that after this you will feel much better. Shouldn’t we?”
I sat there stunned a minute. Had we just switched the parent/child roles somehow? And then I suddenly did feel super grateful! All this time we have spent on character development was seriously paying off! The teacher inside me was breathing a sigh of relief! He had learned what I consider one of the most valuable life lessons I could introduce, sincere gratitude and a positive perspective. The Mom inside me was cheering him on. But most surprisingly, he was teaching those lessons to me. He was reminding me of something I had lost site of. He was guiding me back to the right path. The part of me whose heart recognizes he is also one of my two best friends, finally relaxed.
I feel so blessed to have this young man. He’s becoming a teenager and there are hard parts that have arrived along with this particular stage but despite any of that, he is becoming an amazing young man. He is an inspiration, he is wise, he is kind and compassionate and generous and considerate and wonderful. How could I be anything less than grateful? Besides, he said he would clean! LOL
Have a blessed week everyone. Here’s to hoping you choose to rejoice this week and every week after and that if perhaps you slip and find yourself in that hideous web, that someone is there is guide you out!
To learn about the inspiring Abraham Lincoln who first uttered this know famous quote – click here.
Have a wonderful week,
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