For me it all started with an offhand comment I made to one of my health practitioners about how I wasn’t going to hold my breath for one of my various treatments to work. I wasn’t in a bad mood. I wasn’t trying to be negative. I was, in my view, being realistic. I’ve been battling multiple chronic illnesses for over 10 years now. I’ve learned that I only have so much control, and sometimes I have to just ride the rollercoaster I’ve been placed on, whether I want to or not. I do try to be positive, and actually, I’m often complimented on my happy outlook on life, but sometimes things just slip through. This time, however, it ended up leading to a wonderful conversation about gratitude, and it completely changed the way I look at things.
At times it can be really hard to be grateful for some of the things in my life. How could I be grateful for all my food problems? Or the fact that I’m too weak to go on a walk, or that I can’t go into other buildings? Well, what I’ve learned is that it isn’t so much the problem I need to be grateful for, but instead everything that comes with it. For instance, yes, my food sensitivities are extremely limiting and frustrating, but I’ve grown so much because of them. Now I will try anything! I used to be rather picky, but after having so much taken away from me, I will now happily try new things! And yes, I’m too weak to go on walks, but you know what I’m strong enough to do? Sew and crochet! And I can’t go to the grocery store, but I’m so lucky to live in a time where Amazon Prime is a thing!
So it isn’t about being grateful for the problem itself, but instead, understanding the good that has tagged along with the not so good situation. It’s easier to spot the bad, but it’s healthier to seek out the good.
Each day I write in my gratitude journal and the more I do it, the more effortless it becomes. I noticed right away that I felt lighter and happier. At Christmas I made little paper ornaments and wrote something I was grateful for each day. I placed them on the tree and by Christmas I had 25 Gratitude Ornaments. On my rough days I would stand in front of the tree re-reading them all to remind myself of why I’m so blessed. It really does help, and as hard as it can be, I urge you to try. I did, and now I look forward to writing in my gratitude journal each night.
For those who prefer audio over text, I’ve recorded myself reading the blog here: