I was just reading about an Afghan woman who, married at age 12, was beaten by her husband (a Taliban fighter) since their wedding day. When she tried to escape, he took her to a remote mountain area and cut off her nose and ears while men held her down. She is finally free and receiving constructive surgery this year in the United States.
Why would I share such a graphic thought? Because it made me think. It made me look at my life, and my difficulties, and my very real concerns, and put them in perspective. As women in the United States of America, we enjoy an unprecedented lifestyle. For some, money is no object; for most, it’s available for at least monthly needs. Many women and their families have cars that may not be new, washer and dryers on the verge of kaput, and children without the absolute latest versions of the coolest gadgets. But, they have food, shelter, clothing, and freedoms. Freedom to own a car, and actually drive it (unlike many Afghan women). Freedom to go for a morning run or run for a political office. We can speak, and we can be heard. And even if we feel we aren’t at times, there is still so, so much good in our lives, that we could fill pages with our daily blessings.
Which I encourage you to do. Perhaps inspired by the National Geographic article on Bibi Aisha and many other Afghan women like her, I feel an increase of gratitude about my life and my privileges that have sometimes become expectations. This feeling has translated to more expressions of love to my family and more focus on my Gratitude Journal.
If you haven’t yet kept one, I invite you to start. No need to make it complex—simply write daily a few things that you’re grateful for. Morning or night, two or twenty thoughts, it doesn’t matter. But I can promise you as you do this, you will feel a warmth, a contentment, and a subtle joy enter your life.
I’m grateful that Bibi Aisha helped me remember my mountainous blessings and freedoms, and my need to express them to my own children, especially my girls, who will live to defend, and perhaps procure, more of them.
All my best,