Article: Counting Our Blessings

Newry Cathedral News

On a late night radio show recently on RTÉ, a female singer who was recovering from cancer was quoted as saying, ‘You can’t wait for the pain to end until you decide to be happy.’

This had a profound impact on me and I wrote it down to preserve the thought. The lady in question had had enough of suffering and pain and had made the conscious decision to take control and ‘treat’ herself through turning her efforts to what made her happy – songwriting and performing. What strength she was exhibiting, real strength, an inner strength and a determination to move on, take control and to boost her physical, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing.

I wondered at how this must have been a massive step for this lady and where she got the strength to take this step from. How many of us who are burdened are waiting for others to assist us and share the load? How many of us have a feeling of entitlement and are waiting for others to assist, but lack the strength to take control and make the decision for ourselves?

We all have the power within to count our blessings and be greatful to God for what we have and not what we want. There is real physical, spiritual and mental strength that can be gained from gratitude. Studies have shown that those who count their blessings and practise gratitude are happier, more positive and less likely to suffer from negative emotions or symptoms of depression.

There are many things that God has provided that we should be grateful for. Rather than look at what is missing in our lives, go beyong this narrow, corrosive view and realise the blessings that Jesus has bestowed upon us. As we enjoy the summer and are starting to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, why not make a special effort to appreciate the good things in our lives and make a daily effort to count our blessings and riches.

Count Your Blessings

You may not be where you want to be right now
You may not have everything you need right now, but you have life

Count Your blessings, instead of your problems
Count your smiles, instead of your tears.
Count your joys, instead of your sorrows.
Count your friends, instead of your enemies.
Count your strengths, instead of your weaknesses

Have a positive and humble mindset
no matter what situation you are in
And you will realise
how blessed and beautiful your life truly is
Ehimen Okaka