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on gratitude and empathy

for me, being grateful is to acknowledge that all this wonderousness, all this beauty that I have in my life is a gift, a lucky boon granted to me whether I deserved it or not. 
(take it from the other side of infertility, it's a miracle any of us were born, much less conceived.)
to be grateful is to say, yes, this life is mine and I am thankful. full stop. 
(even for that infertility.)
because that pain brought me to this day. this moment. which is the only moment. 
(without that particular pain, there would have been other pain, and a different now. which I would theoretically also be grateful for. but here I am, now. grateful for my particular pain. it was painful, but it has brought me here. infertility and a miscarriage and the horror of staring at a gun pointed at my head. who else could I be, but me?)
can we achieve this level of gratitude without also experiencing the pain and horror that life can bring? 
more to the point, can we live any real amount of life without expe…

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