Attitude of Gratitude

Years ago, when Oprah started the whole gratitude journal idea, I “drank the juice” and started a gratitude journal of my own.  Afterall, if Oprah said it worked, well then it must!  🙂

At the time, I was a first time dialysis patient.  I have always been a very much “on the go” kinda gal and being strapped to a chair for four or more hours at a time was not something I enjoyed.  At.  All.  Nor did I look forward to the super sized needles they need to use for dialysis patients.  For whatever reason, I never seemed to get a tech who could access my arm correctly, so not only were the needles super sized, but I was being stuck four or five times until they could finally get it right.  I was miserable.  And I knew this had to change.

My treatment time happened to coincide with Oprah’s show and it seemed like everyday she was mentioning the gratitude journal.  I was keeping a journal of my own, but it certainly was not filled with grateful thoughts.  In fact, just the other day, I dug it up.  I had to laugh at myself for the words I wrote in that journal.  I was quite bitter for awhile.  I guess I had a right to be, but it still made me laugh out loud.

As I read through the journal, I was stunned by how quickly I went from bitter and miserable to seeing the good in others and my situation.  Instead of cursing my tech who could not, for the life of her, stick my arm correctly, I was being grateful that she was getting better each time I went to a treatment and finally, she was really pretty great with taking care of me.  Or I was thankful for the time I had to sit in a chair, silently, and “just be”, instead of constantly being on the go or having to answer to others or rushing here and there.  Most people would beg for that much down time in their day, and I was being handed just that.  And the gratitude went on and on.  By the time my transplant came along, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the people in my life and my situation.  Sure, I still had rough days, but I still found plenty for which to be grateful too.  I was able to see the blessings in my life much more easily and quickly than the difficulties.

I am currently a second time dialysis patient.  I have amazing techs taking care of me.  I have a treatment time that caters to my day and allows me, for the most part, to live my life as I desire right now.  I have quite a few other health issues on top of the need for dialysis but I feel great most days and I am able to do things I want to do.  I am blessed with miracles every single day and I see them and feel them.

Gratitude is such a simple concept.  It doesn’t cost even a penny.  It doesn’t require any special training or degree.  It is something that is available to every single person, no matter who you are, what your circumstances may be, or from where you come.  Take hold of it.  Make it yours.  Use it abundantly.  The results are beyond incredible!

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7 Responses to Attitude of Gratitude

  1. Kris TX says:

    I love your perspective. Finding gratefulness in every situation sure makes life easier to live. : -)

  2. Sally Kelly says:

    Do you know the song, “In my daughter’s eyes” by Martina McBride? Well, I feel like my daughter has been my greatest teacher for many reasons, but especially because she has taught me to be grateful for the simple things in life. Last February, I met her in Granada, Nicaragua while she was serving on a nine month mission trip. One evening after we had worked in a field digging a drainage ditch, and we had finished dinner, we were walking back to our hostel. As we walked I noticed the heavy smell of trash and how dirty the streets were. I was thinking about the day and how dry the earth was while we were digging the trench, and how depressed the situation was in Nicaragua. We walked along in silence and just as I was wondering what Kate was thinking, she said, “Isn’t it beautiful here, Mom? I just love the architecture in this city, the pastel colors painted on the buildings, and the warmness of the people. They have so little, yet there is SO much love.” As I looked around us, I noticed that the architecture was beautiful and that the pastel colors popped and reminded me of ice cream flavors. We started naming the buildings a flavor based on their color. I also thought about the young, local boy who had jumped off his horse with a big smile and gladly helped us while we were digging the trench earlier in the day. Once again, Kate had chosen to see the beauty in the world instead of the sadness. I was overwhelmed with gratefulness and for the rest of the trip I made a point to find the beauty in each day that I spent with her in the beautiful country of Nicaragua.

    • mo22tivation says:

      I do know that song and I love it 🙂 But I also know kids learn how to be positive and generous and kind from their first teachers . . . Congratulations, “Mama”! You should be quite proud! Can you see the beauty in yourself that you are spreading every single day??!! Thank you so much for sharing your stories too. I love them and hope you will keep sharing! Ever think of starting a blog?? 🙂

  3. Michelle says:

    This simple thing, a gratitude journal, literally saved my life and continues to support my effort to keep going every day. At the lowest point in my life my thoughts were overwhelmingly focused on ending my life. I could think about little else besides how much I didn’t want to be living. I was consumed with the magnitude of my personal loss. It was a gradual revelation, but once I began to turn my thoughts toward seeking and acknowledging those moments for which I was grateful, everything shifted. The pain did not disappear, but it was realigned with greater empathy, perspective, and yes…a grateful heart. There are gifts every single day. The challenge is in remembering to notice them.

    • mo22tivation says:

      And there are umpteen gazillion people who are writing in their gratitude journals how unbelievably grateful they are that you chose to shift your focus. You are beyond courageous! Change is not easy in the best of circumstances and you conquered it in the worst of them.

  4. crlne says:

    somehow I just landed here…..
    beautifully written & shared
    love the ‘play’ on letters & words
    xo dear mo!

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