“Gratitude turns what we have, into enough.” – Author Unknown
“…clear some brain noise…”
Dorothy was about 48 years old, slim, well dressed and healthy looking, as she walked into my office, for her first consult. When she has booked the appointment she had indicated she needed to “clear some brain noise” which had been bothering her.
As we got acquainted Dorothy told me she was single and unattached. But was very close to her siblings, a brother and sister, who were both older than her. She worked in a manufacturing plant as a middle manager. She had worked herself up through the company and was pleased with her progress, but kind of bored with her current position.
Then she added almost as an after thought, “But I have no complaints, my employer has been good to me and especially lately!”
Out of curiosity, I asked her,” Why lately, Dorothy?”
“Ken, I have been sick for the last twelve months and they have displayed a lot of understanding and flexibility regarding my hours of work and my duties.”
“Dorothy, what have you been sick with for the last while?”
“I have pancreatic cancer and my doctor’s best guess is I have 4-6 months!” she replied in a calm, almost relaxed manner.
“So, you have been facing some huge challenges in your life lately. But, you seem to be handling it quite well so far…is that true?”
“That’s why I came to see you Ken…some of my family and friends think I should be really upset or depressed…but I’m not!”
“What are you instead, Dorothy?”
“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
– Cynthia Ozick, writer
“…actually I feel grateful…”
“That’s the brain noise I mentioned on the phone when I called…Ken, actually I feel grateful…at other times just really appreciative of myself and my life…is that crazy? Am I missing something here?”
“That’s called wisdom, Dorothy. If you want to see more of it, just visit a palliative care unit, and talk to some of the other people who are anticipating their passing sooner rather than later.”
“Are you telling me gratitude is a common response when we know we are going to die soon?”
“Gratitude means you have figured your own life and how you fit into the bigger scheme of things around you. Is that a fair comment about where you are right now, Dorothy?”
“That is exactly how I feel about myself and my life! But, my family and friends think I’m in denial…but this feeling of gratitude… it just emerges as I review all the significant events in my past…and, I have even gone way back to my childhood!”
“Dorothy, what have you learned?”
“… gratitude is simply a better, more accurate word, for happiness.”
“Ken, it is like a big jigsaw puzzle, with every person, place and thing having a unique role to play in my life. And, the more I reflect on my life, the more I see how each piece fits. And, I am in awe of its perfection and just get this sense of gratitude for my life as it has been. It is like I have no enemies or friends any longer. Instead, I am grateful for each person’s special contribution to my life and, I want to thank them!”
“Dorothy, some people uncover your level of awareness from other challenges besides a life threatening disease. You will find similar ideas and words in their written or spoken word. They are often revered by other for their insight and wisdom.
“I recently found one on the internet whom you might find useful. His name is David Stendl Rast. David says gratitude is simply a better, more accurate word, for happiness. I will give you his contact information so you can check out his videos and writings.” Click Here
“He has a short video I liked. And, there is a longer one where he explains the link he sees between gratitude and happiness. I think you will find a kindred spirit.”
“let’s make that our agenda for your next visit…”
“I would like that Ken, I will check him out! The other thing I’m looking for from you is a better understanding of how I am dealing with my disease…am I forgetting anything…if you know what I mean?”
“You want to make sure you have haven’t neglected an important piece of your puzzle…is that what you mean?”
“Well let’s make that our agenda for your next visit a week from today! In the mean time you can check out David’s ideas and see if they reflect your own.”
“That sounds like a great idea!”
“Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.”
– Alfred Painter, writer
Until Next time…
So, raise your level of gratitude and you raise your level of happiness. Stay tuned as we uncover some other ideas on happiness.
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Namaste, (I salute the grandly organized design of the universe, manifested in you!)
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