Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting to Gratitude...

Getting to Gratitude-

I have devoted a lot of space in this blog to the changes we have made in our lives by making this move. For that reason I am not going to spend a lot of times on how our lives have changed but skip that and get to the gratitude portion.

Not long after we moved out to Southern Indiana I was sitting on my porch one morning, with a cup of coffee and reflecting on all of the wonderful things that had happened since I had begun to see the positives in my life. While I was sitting there, looking out at the peaceful setting I realized that I was happier then than I had been in a very long time in my old life.

I began tracing my steps backward one good thing by one good thing until I realized that all of these changes in my life that had brought me to this point had begun with my diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. In that moment it came to me that what should have been the worst thing in my life had actually brought me so very much for which I could be grateful. It was a revelation for me. I was shocked, I was awed, and I felt very much at peace in that moment. Shortly after, my hubby woke up and we went on with our day but in the back of my mind for the rest of that day and many days after that revelation was sitting there working its way around in my brain.

I started taking notice of the blessings in my life. The more I noticed- the more I found and the more thankful I felt. That morning was a definitive turning point for me. I found that I could start and end each day with giving thanks for something- big or small in my life, and when I did this, my day was a little brighter, my stress level lower and the peace I felt inside was bigger.

It is not always easy. I have bad days when I just forget. I have days when I am so tired that I just want sleep. I have days when I find that I am going back to the same things over and over and get into a rut. It was one of those ruts that inspired this blog. This blog has given me an outlet, a record, a lasting look at the wonderful things in my life. I share my joys here and my struggles and I am lucky enough to have folks who care enough to read these words and give me their feedback. When that happens- I know that I am not alone in the journey to remember to be grateful and to find peace in my life. That in itself gives me more to be grateful for.

I have learned that blessings and gratitude are cyclical. The more you see your blessings and are grateful for them- the more blessings you receive. I have also learned that negativity works in the same fashion. I don't know about you- but I would much rather live my life with the positives than the negatives.

In my very first entry to this blog I wrote:

It's very easy to get caught up in what is "wrong" in your life. Focusing on the bad things not only allows us to wallow in our own misery but it also invites everyone we come in contact with to a giant pity party. Physically, it drags us down as if the weight of the world is on our shoulders. It causes tension headaches, TMJ disorders, ulcers, and various other physical manifestations.

Have you ever spent a fair amount of time around someone who is always down? It is not a pleasant experience. You either spend all of your time taking in their stuff until you are down with them- or you expend all of your energy trying to raise their spirits. They are energy vampires and you are their prey! I don't want to BE that vampire! I want to learn to let things go more quickly and to focus on the positive. I want to radiate inner peace. To do that- I need to focus on what is great in my life, not take the little things and blow them up into all consuming issues

I still feel that way today. I also feel that though I have made progress- I still have a long way to go and if I can help one person find something in their lives to be grateful for, I will be successful. I thank you for joining me on this journey.

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