by Társio Benício, Transgender Member of Affirmation Brazil
Today, I want to talk about something that I’ve read about for many years; something that I often think about and feel, but over the last few days has been constantly on my mind: gratitude.
No, I don’t want to preach about it, but I want to offer a reflection on it. We often complain about our relatives, especially those who raised us, educated us, nurtured us, nursed us when we were sick, and who were there for us when we were afraid. I know there are exceptions, but we often focus on the things that we were not given, and not on what they did give us. If you’ve ever talked to a parent about being a parent, you quickly realize that they are always in a state of alert. Parents never sleep the same way after they’ve had children.
Have you been wronged by your family? Is your family dysfunctional? Toxic? You are not alone. Many have experienced or today experience the same. The question is: What do you do to get out of this situation? To murmur and complain to others will not change your situation. “Faith without works is dead.” When we simply do not know what to do and lack faith, we should look for someone who is older; someone we trust, someone with more experience than we might have. Even if you have faith, do not discount the wisdom of your elders. It is valuable.
Do not be a victim. Take care of your wounds. If you can not handle them alone, seek professional help. Trying to heal where you have been hurt is almost impossible if your situation does not change. Purposefully separate yourself from those things or people that hurt you. No matter how bad your family members are, you cannot stop being who you are. You do not need to face punishment from them because of who you are, even if you have gratitude for the things they have provided you. They will get what they deserve for their treatment of you, but you must end the cycle. Otherwise, the hate, rancor, and eternal sick will be a part of you.
Even in the face of adversity, how can we continue to be grateful for what we have been given and be open with others in our lives? Seek to understand, but not forget, harmful things that have been done to you. Do not concentrate on those things, as doing so will allow them to continue to harm you. Look past the adversity and try to notice the positive. Live the present without the weight of the past. Your mind and heart will thank you. You will feel more at peace. Only you are able to build your own ladder of resilience. Make peace. Be gentle. Practice gratitude.