When I experience something, I believe it. I almost choked to death when I was a four year old and had a near death experience. I was very upset that I didn't die because it was a lot more interesting out of your body than in it.
Be grateful simply for being alive. When you are grateful for life, pure and simple, your life becomes one you can be grateful for. That may strike you as circular or even backward logic, but your attitude really does have an effect on how things work out. When you can't change your life any other way, you can still change your attitude. When you do, your life changes. You find more chances to love, and you will be surprised to see how much more love is returned to you.
When my body gets to the point where I can no longer function or feel gratitude, then I'll leave it and become grateful again. But until then, I will appreciate what I have and not whine about what I don't have. I will feel blessed by life and the opportunity to help others see that they are blessed, too.
God wants us to know that life is a series of beginnings, not endings. Just as graduations are not terminations, but commencements. Creation is an ongoing process, and when we create a perfect world where love and compassion are shared by all, suffering will cease.
I grew up with sentiments such as, "Do what will make you happy, troubles are God's redirections that something good will come from, and that material things are to make the world a better place" and the latter came from my father because his father died of tuberculosis when he was twelve. They had no insurance, six kids and a hell of a time surviving.
What I learned was to live in my heart and to do what will make my happy, and that was not selfishness. It didn't matter what job I took, my mother's answer was, "Do what will make you happy." It brought attention to my own feelings, and the realization that I never knew what the future would bring so to keep an optimistic view of it, because who knows what today's events will bring.
The tree doesn't die, nor do I when you cut off a branch or a finger, we both heal so we don't lose all the sap or blood. That to me is total shock. Also that water defies the laws of physics by becoming less dense when frozen. Life really is a miracle and all the things that are been built into us through it.