The one thing I am most grateful for is my two children. I know that sounds so cliché, but it is the truth. It is through them that my heart walks outside of my body, vulnerable and open, ready to receive and feel on the deepest levels. They are my greatest teachers. They have taught me unconditional love -- for them and for myself.
I could only love them unconditionally once I understood how to love and value myself first. What is so interesting is that each child, through their unique personalities, strengths and weaknesses, has designed a personalized curriculum for me.
My daughter, who is nine, still skips wherever she goes. She has done this from the moment she learned to skip as a preschooler. Joy and self-confidence exudes out of her body naturally and effortlessly.
Through her, I have learned that happiness is an inside job. Her creativity astounds me and I see that she is co-creating her world in the flow of the universe. She tells me she is going to "ask her intuition" and then trusts it.
My son, now 12, is a very sensitive and deep-feeling soul. He has taught me compassion and patience. He feels so deeply -- tearing up at something sad on the television or taking the Holocaust personally and sobbing in my arms, "Why do people want to hurt us because we are Jewish?" He also angers easily, flying off the handle at seemingly small and unimportant frustrations.
Through his sensitivity and emotional turmoil, I have learned to be empathic and loving, even when I don't feel the same emotions he does. Being so sensitive though is a blessing because he is such a sweet and loving boy.
It is this unconditional love for them that has taught me to accept, love and even value the not-so-wonderful parts of myself. I see that if I can love my children so deeply, accepting them for exactly who they are, then I deserve the same love from myself.
And that deserves gratitude every single day.