With my continued intention of sharing ideas which supported my personal growth to potentially aid you in your life, my offering here is ‘Gratitude.’
Prior to rising from dark depths, I’d previously esteemed Gratitude, however I lacked knowledge of its stellar benefits. Nor did I understand how it was possible to be authentically Grateful for difficulty.
A much-wiser-than-I therapist suggested a perspective of wonder. Even amazement. To stand back, jaw dropped. Perhaps see rock bottom as a possible starting point. A place to build from.
This PhD level of Gratitude for profound challenge felt far fetched – at best.
A tiny part of me, though, felt hopeful regarding such Gratitude.
So, I began with achievable Gratitude practices which were sometimes half-hearted; they grew easier and more joyful with time. Actions like these helped me:
• Daily Gratitude journaling for simple or more exquisite pleasures – fresh blueberries at breakfast, saying goodnight to our son, a dear one’s warm hug,
• Writing thank you notes to others for kind gestures – & keeping blanks in a bathroom drawer, previously stamped to prevent an ‘I have no stamp’ excuse, and
• Saying thank you for little sweet-doings by my dearest ones.
Leading gratitude expert, Dr. Robert Emmons, found that “people who have regular gratitude practices are healthier, happier, and have better relationships” as noted here.
What a heartening discovery for me that Gratitude research found pluses that include “unshackl[ing from] toxic emotions” and lasting positive brain impacts. It may just take some time to see the benefits.
As Germany Kent said, “it’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are Grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”
Incrementally, I also pondered what maaaaaay be tough times’ gifts yet I didn’t feel Gratitude for such initially.
The road to Gratitude for challenge was paved with Acceptance and Trust. Acceptance – of what I’d been through, then Trust – surrendering over to the Divine. Gratitude and appreciation of even wee outcomes from hardship followed.
Fresh eyes eventually saw altered perspectives. Thank you, Holies.
Initially, I uncovered Gratitude for hardness because it created a willingness to alter my Thinking.
Upon further perusal, I realized detaching from much in my world left me with ardent interest in Divine connection – as other connections had been strained. How Grateful I am for this profound gift from big ole problems.
The soul-deep value of connection with and service to others, belonging to a community, and immeasurable import of family and dears also rose as treasures I’m Grateful adversity birthed.
Gratitude created less acute feelings of loss and despair, then mini glimmers of joy, then – finally – a thankfulness for each and every day. And whatever comes with it – well, most of the time.
And, what Gratitude I hold for you, dear one.
With continued, increasing Gratitude for my whole path which brought me nearer, even if virtually, to you – and heartfelt belief in Gratitude as a possible gift in your life,