09 Jun The Gift of Gratitude
Gratitude….we hear this word thrown around a lot at the moment but how does it actually work?
I believe that if you constantly expect the worst in life then this will normally eventuate and vice versa. Therefore, if we train our minds to see the good in situations then that’s what we notice. It’s simple really.
During my son, Oakley’s, last couple of weeks, we were in Starship Hospital. Things were beyond dire. Oakley was very ill and every day became worse than the one before which made it a real challenge for Jonny and I to try and stay positive.
Around a month before this I had been reading a lot about how practicing gratitude on a daily basis could do wonders for your state of mind. So at this time, the worst time of my life, I decided to write down the things I was grateful for every night before bed.
As my son lay in a coma, on life support, brain damaged and not responding to treatment, I found so many things to be grateful for each day.
💚 My best friend and rock, Jonny, and how we worked as a team, even in the worst situations.
💚 The doctors and their amazing care of Oakley.
💚 The nurses who looked after Oaky and us so well and kept us constantly informed of any changes.
💚 Our amazing family and friends and their ongoing love and support.
💚 Ronald McDonald House for providing us with accomodation and for their constant kindness.
💚 Getting to hold Oakley even while he was connected up to so many gadgets.
💚 The social workers and physios all doing their best for our wee man.
💚 The fact that Jonny and I were able to drop everything and be there for Oakley, knowing that our other two children were being well looked after by their Grandparents.
And on the day that Oaky passed away, we thought of how grateful we were that:
💜 We were blessed to have Oakley in our lives for almost two amazing years.
💜 We got to cuddle and kiss him, laugh with him, play with him on a daily basis.
💜 I got to be a stay-at-home mum, spending every day with him.
💜 We took Oakley swimming, to the playground, on a family holiday and created so many beautiful memories together.
There were so many things to be grateful for during this heartbreaking time.
Gratitude enabled us to see the silver lining in this terrible situation. It enabled us to step back and give thanks for all the good things in our lives rather than solely drowning in our grief. Yes, it was an incredibly tough time – but it could’ve been worse.
Grieving the loss of a child is one of those events you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. However, like many of life’s adversities it has taught me so many valuable lessons – the gift of gratitude being one.
I practice giving gratitude on a daily basis. Whether it be noting things down in a journal before bed, discussing as a family what we’re grateful for about the day or by giving gratitude for the sunlight when I awake.
Having cultivated this habit, finding the good is now my default and I often surprise myself at how many good things there’ve been during one of my ‘bad’ days.
I encourage everyone to try giving gratitude a go. Anyone can do it, of any age and anywhere. It’s free and an easy way to focus on the positives in our lives. For no matter the situation, there are always positives. 💜💜💜