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!