Oh the importance of Gratitude!
We have so much. We live in a beautiful home, in a beautiful area. Beauty is all around. So much brings me gratitude; family, friends, relationships, clients and patients, and continual opportunities for growth. I’m grateful for life and my soon to be newborn Grandson.
But what about the times we don’t feel grateful? How do we “get gratitude?”
I’m reminded of the time my ex-husband hit my Achilles heel. He violated my trust and risked hurting my children in a way that I couldn’t comprehend, and created a rage I’d never acknowledged before. It totally knocked me to my knees.
His solution? After going to 3 therapists, yours, mine and ours, was to “practice gratitude”. In other words, just be happy with what we had. Accept the status quo. This can be difficult when the status quo is unacceptable. Like high blood pressure, like a cancer diagnosis.
This week I watched the movie Inside Out with my now husband and soul mate. It’s a brilliant piece by Disney on the importance and role of emotions; all emotions, including fear, anger, sadness and joy.
We must feel, acknowledge, and respect all our emotions. My fear and anger fueled me to make the changes I needed to make to live the life I am now living. It enabled me to change careers. My rage pushed me to succeed in a male dominated industry. It gave me the drive to financially support my family. It enabled us to buy our home in Great Falls.
Working through fear, anger and sadness has transformed me to the new me, with joyful loving relationships. Acknowledging my feelings and the feelings of those in my life has created deeper more meaningful relationships. Practicing gratitude is more than just ignoring negative emotions. Funny how my blood pressure suddenly returned to normal when I made healthy emotional changes. Acknowledging and respecting the emotions that inhibit our immune system and fuel chronic illness heals.
Our greatest challenges transform us; like a piece of coal turning to a diamond, or a piece of sand into a pearl. For this, I am eternally grateful.
What is the first step to transformational healing? Take an honest personal assessment. What message is your body giving you? Is it to slow down and rest and digest? Is it to look at toxins in your physical, mental and emotional environment? What small change is necessary to find inner peace? Can you find peace and gratitude in the journey?
This month, as we were discussing fear, one of our patients in our nutrition support group said that her cancer diagnosis was the best thing that could have happened to her. It taught her to slow down, to take time to prioritize herself and to relish each day she is here. In our group, she is learning new things, making new friends and finding joy. This is practicing gratitude.
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. You enrich my life and for you I am ever so grateful.
Today, I made raw cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie for group. Visit my website to download these and other holiday dessert recipes. www.carpediemwellness.org