“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.