If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, GO HERE.
Where were we? Oh yes,
I sat there alone in the dark, mad as hell. I cried out for help, and the answer that came to me was to be THANKFUL that my daughter could die? Be THANKFUL that she had to endure torturous treatments that literally altered not only her appearance, but also sucked the life right out of her sweet, vibrant, happy personality? Be THANKFUL that my life, my dreams, my plan, my dream job (that I was offered the same day we received the diagnosis) was OVER?
It must have been the wine talking, right?
How could I possibly find a way to be Thankful for that pile of crap that had been thrown at my family like some teenage prank?
My moods got worse. My outlook remained bleak, I became thoroughly exhausted because dealing with a steroid-ally raging, emotionally charged 5 year old will take every last bit out of you, leaving nothing. And all that time, I couldn’t get that phrase out of my mind. “Be Thankful for this situation.”
I had begun reading a daily inspirational book that was a bit of a pick me up- and even IT kept telling me to be Thankful for ALL my situations. Not just the ones that were pleasant. I thought the author needed some serious help. I could be thankful for things like… you know… sugar, spice, everything nice…
But snakes and snails and… no way. Couldn’t be.
Well, hours turn into days turn into weeks and before I knew it, I was several months into this new life that I really just hated. And what was worse, was I felt totally powerless to change any of it. And was again reminded that I still had snuck around that “be thankful” thing.
With really no other options on the table, one day, enough was enough. I loved
myself my daughter at least that much, to not stay where I was. I gave in. But I wasn’t going to like it… I would just, as unemotionally and detach-edly as I could, begin with a sarcastic “Thank you for this (whatever you want to call it, because I just don’t understand).”
What happened next is literally unexplainable.
It makes no sense.
It isn’t logical.
It isn’t prove-able by anything science could confirm.
The only way I can try and describe it is…
My depression lifted.
Like a black cloud lifting off my shoulders, and floating away- it was gone. It wasn’t immediate, nor instant gratification in my case. It took a little persistence- a few days of repeating my sarcastic, unbelieving statements of “thanks” (or in my case more like “thanks alot…”) of the horrible, no-good, very bad situations we were facing as a family.
Before too long, those statements of thankfulness, turned into statements of trust. Those statements of trust turned into statements and glimmers of hope. Those glimmers of hope turned into a PLAN of action, which have led (to this day), to the healing of my daughter, against all odds and diagnoses.
I realized it took a weird, crazy notion- an outrageous idea (be thankful even for the crap that is going on in your life right now) to release an enormous victory within myself. A victory I had never been able to win on my own before- (or even knew I needed to win).
The key to making a hideous situation, lovely, is first being thankful for the opportunity to do so.
Here are a few secrets I learned through this that maybe you could take to the bank on a rainy day:
1. Being thankful is a decision, not an emotion. (at first.) I didn’t have to feel it when I began to declare it- my words transformed my actual emotions, which in turn, transformed my whole situation. And eventually, I realllllly began to mean it.
2. Being thankful is not just something we should do once a year before gorging ourselves on honey-roasted turkey and mashed potatoes. It is a lifestyle that, when led, makes you invincible! Anything that happens in your life holds the potential to either take you out, or make you stronger- it is totally up to us which that is. Who knew that such a silly little thing as thankfulness could give us the power to get there?
3. Being thankful is a weapon we can use to declare war against all the unfair and crummy things that happen to us. We are never truly powerless, because we have been given great keys and tools that if we are willing to try crazy, new, outrageous things we’ve never tried before- we can and will overcome enormous obstacles. Again, it doesn’t make any logical sense, it just works!
4. Being thankful makes you strong! Doing great things (like defying the laws of nature and science), requires the kind of strength that only comes through having a belief in Someone bigger than yourself, knowing that He made the rules, so He also knows how to break them, and will share that with you if you are willing to listen.
5. Being thankful makes you lovely. Imagine how much more beautiful I became when I left behind the hateful edge. Carrying around a chip on your shoulders makes you ugly. Inside and out. I realized I had pushed away friends who loved me and genuinely wanted to be there for me, (and I blamed them).
In short (too late, I know), who knew that one little old holiday that we usually focus on Pilgrims, Indians, and Mayflowers held such a deep, and rich, and meaningful secret that could change your life forever? Certainly not me, at first, but I went ahead and discovered it’s secrets so I could share them with you.
What will you do with them?
What situation could you transform if you applied these Secrets of Thankfulness?