Where Heartache Meets Joy – A Place I Call Gratitude

There is a lot that is spoken and written about Gratitude and her healing properties and indeed I have experienced her rewards.

Modern thought masters like Dr. Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra to name only two – for there are many – and workshops and programs like A Course In Miracles, speak of the benefits of experiencing gratitude. How do we do that? A classic method to experience gratitude is to keep a Gratitude journal and simply list ten things that you are grateful for every day for 3o days. Or if writing is not your thing, then whilst lying in bed and before going to sleep, count out ten things you are grateful for – using your fingers to help keep count.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is about the small things. It’s about receiving a smile from a stranger who is walking in the opposite direction to you. It’s about feeling safe because you have a roof over your head, a place to call home. It might be about the way your dog greets you, the meal you just had made from the loving hands of someone who cares or simply being present to the giggle of a child’s laughter, These things seem small yet the magnitude of their impact on our state is seemingly disproportionately positive.

And it’s not only our uninvestigated idea that suggests that we are feeling better when we practice gratitude. There are many research based studies that have concluded that thoughts of gratitude produce happy natural chemicals in our brain so we do actually shift to states of joy – physically, mentally and emotionally.

The light bulb

For a while I have been feeling something unusually odd. It’s a happy-sad feeling. A complex combination of two seemingly opposite states. In the beginning it didn’t make a lot of sense to me. How can you be both happy and sad. How can you feel both at peace and a longing for someone that you will never see again. How can these two strong opposing forces converge into one. Is that even possible?
And then it clicked. I am experiencing the state of gratitude. The accepting of what is.

How can I accept sadness? I can accept sadness when I acknowledge why it is that I am sad. It’s accepting the loss of someone or something. It’s a grieving process which brings healing. I don’t want to push it away because I will be pushing away the joy that this memory also brings to me. I will also be pushing away the ability to live with what I am left with when I lose someone or something. What I’m left with is resilience, a deeper sense of compassion a desire to be kinder to all. And for that I am grateful.

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