The Healing Power of Gratitude!

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.”  ~ Denis Waitley

I really wanted to cry when the author of the healing power of gratitude requested that the reader, which was me 6 years ago, write down the thing we disliked the most about our lives and then find five reasons why we were grateful for said item, circumstance or situation.

I was speechless because the circumstance I disliked the most was being disabled, the result of a car accident in 1990. I was living but deep down I resented the fact that I could not walk and focused on everything that I could no longer do; even though I had a family and a home I thought I’ve got nothing to be grateful about, absolutely nothing.

“Real life isn’t always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgment of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties.”  ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

After putting the book down on two different occasions three months later I began asking my husband how can I be grateful for being physically challenged.  He pointed to the fact that I didn’t have to wash dishes, anywhere I go I have my own chair and I’m usually first on airplane flights.

Well, he was right and then before I could say BUT, he reminded me that the purpose of the exercises was to heal and to learn.  To my surprise, I’ve read this book two more times and started a youtube channel making videos about things I was grateful for in life. Since then I followed up with a blog, facebook, and twitter, posting the things I’m grateful for; while life isn’t a bed of roses I certainly recognize the beauty in my life.

The Healing Power of Gratitude

The biggest lessons I learned to help me stay in gratitude was to stop comparing my experiences to anyone else’s life experiences, never ask negative loop why questions like why did she do that to me? A better question is how can I handle this situation for my highest good? What is the lesson to be gained here? I have down moments but I bounce out of them quicker when I remember to choose to find something to be grateful about.  In looking back I realize that every area I thought was negative had gems of gratitude.

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus

Growing up as a foster child I moved around a lot.  I was never homeless and I am grateful for this fact.  I never heard the words I love you growing up and the reason I can be grateful is because it forced me to be a better parent, always supporting and saying I love you to my own children, two boys.  Snoring can drive anyone to distraction; I on the other hand use to hate it.  In the middle of one night, I thought out loud what is there to be grateful for listening to this noise?

Spirit said, for one thing, your husband is here next to you and not in a bar doing God knows what and for two you can HEAR him. I laughed so hard it startled my husband he turned over and I fell asleep.  Gratitude helps me appreciate people for who they are including myself and took me away from who I thought they should be at any given moment.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”Marcel Proust

Please understand gratitude will help change you and your vibration or thoughts about you and only.  Often times I use to say I hate the way this tastes or I hate that I’m overweight; now I no longer throw hate at life and expect it to show me something better I find a reason to be grateful and keep rolling down my yellow brick road.

This post was written by Deborah McCreath Akbar who also writes on her own blog at Natural Poetess. For more on Deborah you can also visit her Twitter page.

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Luminita D. Saviuc

Luminita, the Founder of PurposeFairy, is an enthusiastic student of the arts, psychology, and spirituality. Her acclaimed blog post, 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy , was shared by over 1.3 million people on Facebook. Later on, it became the heart of her book, 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy., book that was published by Penguin Random House. For more details check out the 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy Book Page.

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22 Comments

  • Reply

    Pattie

    8, June 2012 at 1:18 am

    This was my favorite article so far. My G-List has gotten me through some rough times. I too am disabled after being a very active person. I never gave up and can do much more than I thought now. Gratitude gives you Fortitude.

    • Reply

      Deborah (@myaccesiblelife)

      9, June 2012 at 1:01 am

      Thank you Pattie for sharing; I so appreciate knowing that gratitude is healing others as well as my SELF…

  • Reply

    Deborah (@myaccesiblelife)

    6, June 2012 at 3:18 am


    Karen Dunn:

    What a lovely post! i would like to read the book that you talked about could you tell me who the author is please.
    Many thanks Karen x

    the book is called the healing power of gratitude by dr. john demartini.

  • Reply

    Lalitha

    4, June 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Good Lessson……….

  • Reply

    casey

    2, June 2012 at 11:09 pm

    u had me at disabled, i am too…but lost me again with husband and 2 sons. i feel hopeless that i will never experience that love in my life. read your blog, did i mention i was home-bound…no chance for church or other people in my life…yes, i can be grateful that i have 1 hand to type, and a home to be bound to, but it is still sooooo difficult…losing hope when it was what kept me going….

    • Reply

      Deborah (@myaccesiblelife)

      6, June 2012 at 3:14 am

      Casey before I got married I was a single mom homebound as well and then I started calling people and inviting them over, and when I was well enough to go out I went everywhere I could. You can use skype, facebook, write to prisoners (through a p.o. box) and you’re alive so everytime you take a breath be grateful

  • Reply

    Lucy DelSarto

    2, June 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Great article! In my Wellness Coaching one of the core area’s I address in every session is GRATITUDE. TCOY Wellness = Take Care of You and that includes MUCH more than just diet and exercise. Beautifully written ..two thumbs up!

  • Reply

    Sherri

    2, June 2012 at 3:42 pm

    I have posted on my mirror the 10 things I’m grateful for and 10 things I want to attract in my life. If you review these every day they start to become part of you. It’s not easy we are all going through lifes peaks and valleys.

  • Reply

    Karen Dunn

    2, June 2012 at 1:35 pm

    What a lovely post! i would like to read the book that you talked about could you tell me who the author is please.
    Many thanks Karen x

  • Reply

    Gayle Escamilla

    2, June 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Robin, I too, lost my son a little more than 2 years ago, and know how hard it can be to stay our of that “valley”. I have lately been practicing gratitude for all the good things I have and have had in my life and it truly makes a difference. May we find the peace we are seeking by continuing to practice this philosophy.

  • Reply

    Elizabeth Peterson

    2, June 2012 at 4:52 am

    I used to listen for the snoring, and when I heard it I was so grateful that he lived another day. Because I knew that someday the snoring would stop…

  • Reply

    Deborah (@myaccesiblelife)

    1, June 2012 at 10:45 pm

    YES Catherine finding something to be grateful for while you’re in the valley will make the time go by really quickly; like maybe the metaphorical smell or look of the valley. Many blessings.

  • Reply

    Nicole D.

    1, June 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Oh my goodness…the timing of this article is amazing.

    I was hospitalized earlier this month with blood clots in my lungs and heart – that came about suddenly as an unexpected complication from an outpatient surgery. I spent 5-6 days in ICU, followed by another 12 days in the regular part of the hospital.

    From the moment I woke up in ICU – the biggest emotion I felt was gratitude. I was grateful to the tremendously loving family and friends who sat with me, prayed for me (and eventually visited me LOTS in the hospital). I was grateful to the doctors who made the exact right calls at the exact right times that gave me life. I was grateful to the angels in the ICU who took care of every part of me for days and made sure I made it through the ordeal. I was grateful to God for showing me there is a plan, and He has a purpose for me.

    Once I was awake in the hospital, I entertained nurses and visitors, I counted the days by adding fun colored extensions to my hair. I wore as much glitter as I was safely allowed. I laughed with the staff and visitors.

    I had several nurses and doctors comment on how amazed they were by how positive my attitude was. I told them truthfully – I didn’t know any other way to be. With all those doctors, nurses, friends and family doing everything in their power to give me life…the best way I could think to honor them was to truly LIVE.

  • Reply

    Deborah (@myaccesiblelife)

    1, June 2012 at 3:43 pm

    That is wonderful Robin. My aunt passed away 3 months ago and I miss her immensely but she lives on in my heart and memories.

  • Reply

    Catherine Vanlandingham

    1, June 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED YOUR ARTICLE ON GRATITUDE. THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I AM GOING TO STRIVE AND PRACTICE THIS EVERY DAY. TRANSFORMATION BRINGS STRESS AND IT IS SO EASY TO FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVE RATHER THAN THE POSITIVE, FOR ALL OF US. I AM GOING THROUGH A LOT OF THIS RIGHT NOW. MAYBE THIS WILL SHORTEN THIS VALLEY I AM PRESENTLY IN, OR, AT LEAST, MAKE IT A HAPPIER TIME. CATHY, FRIEND IN CHRIST

  • Reply

    Robin Gaphni

    1, June 2012 at 2:04 pm

    What a lovely post. Thank you. I started a blog a couple of months ago for all of these reasons. It’s called Grief & Gratitude (www.griefgratitude.com) and I try and focus on all of the things I’m grateful for despite my son’s death 19 months ago.
    Thank you.

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