COULD GRATITUDE BE THE ULTIMATE ANTIDOTE FOR GRIEF?
Could gratitude be the ultimate, yet unprescribed antidote for grief?
Are you currently grieving or suffering from the loss of a loved one or something so dear to you? Are you finding it so hard to deal with or come to terms with the loss of a loved one? If this is the case, then I have got good news for you. On the other hand, if you have never experienced the loss of a dear one, then, this is the ultimate prescription for you—in times of need. In this article I share with you, how a simple and deliberate act of gratitude enabled me to instantly and permanently overcome grief.
“Gratitude is a powerful and very fulfilling attitude and life experience. The more grateful you are in life, the more fulfilled/ satisfied and happy you are with your life and the surrounding circumstances. This is so because, you tend to focus on the things you already possess or are sure of possessing…which implies your focus is not on what you don’t have/ have lost or need, but rather, it is on what you already have or you are certain you will have. When you do this very often, there is no room for wanting, regret, ingratitude, or worry/ grief. On the contrary, you constantly find yourself in a position of satisfaction, abundance, acknowledgement, and appreciation of life—regardless of other obvious challenges or obstacles you may be facing in life.” Excerpt from 7 Powerful Strategies For Overcoming Life Challenges by Dr Sylvia Forchap-Likambi
Consequently, as you grief, it is fundamental and highly therapeutic that you exhibit an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for the fact that you are still alive—for good health…as some might not have survived the situation you are currently going through, while others might have had their health completely deteriorated, if faced with a similar situation or challenge.
“A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.” James E. Faust
Now, it is The 27th of August 2015, exactly one week after the burial of my beloved mum (who passed away on The 14th July 2015), and a few hours to the birth and magnificent arrival of my beautiful baby daughter and princess, Destiny.
As you may well know or imagine, the passing away of a loved one is always a very difficult and challenging moment to go through, and may sometimes leave us very distressed and in total denial. You may also be aware of the 7 stages of grief; we all sometimes go through following the loss of a loved one (which is not the focus of my article). However, the order/duration of each of the stages may vary significantly from individual to individual—and has a huge correlation with how well we deal with and cope with life challenges. Until this blessed day, it was exactly like this for me—with intermittent moments of hope and despair.
Nonetheless, following the birth of my gorgeous little angel, something unusual and miraculous happened. As I hold her close to my bosom, and feel her every breath and heartbeat as though they were mine—and gently utter a short prayer of gratitude, I instantly became aware and very conscious of how blessed and privileged I am…
Here I am, holding my precious little new born very close to my heart, who reaches out for her very first feed/ breast milk, and wouldn’t let go for anything or anyone in the world. I am immensely full of marvel and gratitude to God for such a precious little gift and life…and for the immense privilege to be her mum! At this moment, the following questions went through my mind:
What did I do to deserve such favour and honour?
How qualified am I? Am I any different or special from the many women out there who would give up everything in life just to become a mother, yet they can’t? Do not get me wrong! Of course I am different and special, but they too are just as different and special as I am…but why am I favoured and chosen?
How could I be so ungrateful and distressed because my mum has passed away and gone to rest?
Why is my focus on what I have lost and not on what I have gained, and now have—which is not out of merit?
Why am I sad because my mum is gone, rather than being grateful for the fact that she brought me into this world, and I had such a loving and caring mum, who was always there for me, and helped shape my spiritual growth?
Why should I question my mum’s death, yet not my child’s birth or my very own existence?
Oh! How ungrateful do we become when we exhibit a lifestyle and culture of entitlement!
As I asked all of the above questions and reflected deeply, I immediately came to the realisation that there was a profound need for a complete change of attitude and mindset! I had to consciously and deliberately change my mindset from that of loss to that of gain… from that of grief to that of profound joy and happiness; and from that of ingratitude, to that of gratitude and thanksgiving. My focus is now on what I have, rather than on what I do not have and cannot have… on how blessed and privileged I am, rather than on the misfortune and grief…on life—a new life, rather on death! There was a complete turnaround and transformation, which birthed a renewed and permanent hope and life within me—which is exactly the same and even more today, as I graciously and proudly celebrate the 2nd birthday of my gorgeous little angel and the life of loving mum and grandmother.
I choose to take with me the very best memories about mum and my life to this day—and I am grateful for all the privileges I have been given this far! Now, I greatly recommend you acknowledge and appreciate every loved and dear one in your life, and do not take them for granted. This is fundamental, so when a time comes when they will be gone…you will have no regrets/ guilt, but a great and amazing memory of them to always look back to and be grateful!
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