So you’ve decided you want to make a different choice in how you react in a given situation. You’ve even gotten yourself to the point where you’re willing to let go of that heated anger, or that depressing sadness. Now what? You’re still left with a void where those depleting emotions used to be. Well, there's good news and there's bad news. The bad news is that the void isn’t going to magically fill itself with something more positive (unless you happen to see a commercial for Purina Puppy Chow filled with adorable I’ve-Got-To-Pick-You-Up-And-Squeeze-You puppies, but even that will only last a moment or two). So how do you fill the empty space that was once your angry heart? The good news is that it's actually, relatively easy and it comes down to one word … gratitude. The key is to find one thing, anything that you can truly be grateful for. Trust me, I do understand that there will be days when this will be easier than others, but if you’re really honest with yourself and truly willing to give up feeling like a victim, then unless you’re dead or in coma, you probably can find something to be grateful for. This is not meant in any way to minimize the pain that you may have been feeling, or the trauma you may have suffered. The point is to help you navigate to the other side and gratitude will get you there. Maybe the only thing you can think of to be grateful for is that you’re breathing. I guarantee you someone out there with emphysema is envious of your ability to take a deep breath. Or maybe the only thing you can be grateful for is that you have eyes that can read this blog. A blind person can only dream of doing that. You see where I’m going with this. Just commit to yourself that for the entire day you will continue to look for reasons to be grateful. The magical thing about gratitude is that it multiplies easily (much like rabbits in the dark). Once you shift your focus away from dwelling on the negative and look for reasons to be grateful, you will find more and more evidence that you have a lot to be thankful for. That’s just how gratitude works. And before you know it, that void that once housed dark and negative emotions, is suddenly filled with joy and a grateful heart. Catherine, our central character in A Soul Less Broken had to learn this too. She also had to grab onto something, anything, no matter how small it seemed at the time, in order to get her up and over that hurdle.
Now, on a personal note, while we’re on the subject of gratitude I would be quite remiss if I didn’t mention the surprise that awaited me last night when I got home and the very special man who made it happen. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had ordered the matching earrings to go with the necklace (that’s on the cover of the book) and the tiny box arrived in the mail yesterday. I was absolutely delighted when I opened them, thanking him profusely. He just stood there with a very wide grin and stated quite matter-of-factly “Well, you had to have the matching set.” Bless his heart. That is one thing about my husband he never ceases to amaze me. Over our many years together he has surprised me countless times. And while I’m very grateful for all the things he has surprised me with, I’m most grateful for him.
So what can you find in your life that you can be grateful for?