Happy Monday. I hope everyone had a great weekend. We took advantage of the beautiful weather and went hiking. It was so wonderful to finally get outside and enjoy all the beautiful things, Spring brings each year. How are you enjoying the Spring?
It is not always easy to find Gratitude in the midst of a storm or crisis. As a matter of fact, if someone would have read me this quote 18 years ago, after the birth of my first child, I would have told them where they could have shoved it. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. I was angry and resentful. Here I was 21 years old, single, and had just given birth to a very sick child. As far as I was concerned, I had nothing to be grateful for. I felt entitled to have that attitude, and hung onto it, until the moment we would finally leave the hospital, four months after she was born.
I remember that moment like it was yesterday. As I began to get her dressed, I felt joy for the first time since she had been born. I was so excited that I was finally able bring my daughter home. I was overjoyed that we had beat the odds. The fight was hard, but it was so worth it. My child was alive, and although we had a long road ahead of us, she was going to be okay. Despite what the doctors and nurses had told me in the previous two hospitals we had been in, she was going to live! I was feeling gratitude.
Not really, not even at that point. Sure I was saying all those things in my head, but I wasn’t truly feeling grateful. I had joy, but it was filled with an arrogance. It was kind of like a “we showed them” attitude.
As I stood with my Mom, waiting for the doctors to arrive with the discharge papers, I took a look around. I saw all the moms, and their children who I had formed bonds with. They were waiting to say goodbye to us. Tears started to stream down my face. The tears were filled with heartbreak for those moms, and their children, and they were also filled with gratitude. Deep gratitude that I felt right down to the core of my soul. I was grateful we were going home. I knew that many of those moms and their children would never have that opportunity. I was grateful for the doctors who had saved my daughter’s life. I was grateful for their patience. I was grateful for their gift’s that enabled them to save my daughter’s life. I was grateful for the loving, compassionate, and understanding nurses. I was grateful for the friendships I had made. I was grateful that my life was touched by so many amazing, courageous people.
That day was a defining moment in my life. Not only had I felt deep gratitude, I felt everything that it did for me. I felt happy. My anger was replaced with love, arrogance with humility, and and my heart felt empathy. As we drove home, I promised myself that finding and practicing gratitude would be my number one priority. Not only in the good stuff, but in the midst of all the bad stuff too. I felt like I owed it to those mom’s and their children. And of course, mine too.
It has not always been easy, and I am constantly reminding myself to find gratitude. It’s a daily practice, and takes work, but the rewards are worth it. I have found it really good practice, and helpful, to start each day off by writing something that I am grateful for in my Journal. It can be the smallest thing, such as being grateful, for my cup of coffee. It reminds me to stay centered, particularly if I am dealing with a stressful situation. Below are some Journaling Prompts to help inspire you to Journal your gratitude
1. I’ve been granted three wishes from my wish list. How am I grateful for them? How will I express my gratitude?
2. What is different in my life today from a year ago? In what ways am I grateful for the change?
3. List three gratitude quotes in your Journal. What is it about the quotes that resonated you?
4. What relationships am I grateful for? How do I express to the other person, animal, etc that I am grateful?
5. What abilities or talents do I have that I am grateful for? How do I nurture them?
6. What happened today/yesterday/this week/this month that I am grateful for?
7. What do I normally take for granted, that I am actually grateful for (health, water, food, transportation)?
8. Look around at your surrounding. What do you see, smell, hear that you are grateful for?
9. I have struggled with, or, am currently struggling with. What is it about the struggle that I am grateful for? Why am I grateful?
10. What material possessions am I grateful for? How do they benefit my life? How would my life change if I did not have those possessions?
When we practice gratitude in our lives, our relationships, health, and our life, in general, improves. By focusing on what we have, instead of what we don’t, we can feel fulfillment, and enjoy each moment that much more. We can enjoy the storm and the rainbow.
Leave me a comment, I would love to hear how you practice gratitude, and the positive outcomes you have experienced as a result.