Self-Acceptance and Gratitude
Self-acceptance, dear God who doesn’t struggle with that? And gratitude, especially now when so many are out of work or suffering with this damn virus, what’s there to be thankful for? Both feel impossible to achieve and yet, if we put our mind to it, gratitude and self-acceptance form a dynamic duo that deliver an abundance of strength, success, opportunity, and joy.
The scoop on gratitude
There’s something I like to call Survival of the Grateful-est. It’s kind of like survival of the fittest, but better. It’s good to be fit, but it’s crucial to be grateful. It’s particularly crucial to be grateful at those times when it seems there is absolutely nothing to be grateful for. Your house burns down, your spouse is diagnosed with cancer, you lose the job you’ve given your life to. Dear God, what could you possibly find in any of those situations to be thankful for?
Your family was out of the house at the time.
Your spouse has a good oncologist.
You’re free to make a fresh start.
I know from personal experience how hard it is to see the silver lining in such black clouds. I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer in 2011, and my brother to a ruptured esophagus two years later. Because of both of these events, I’m well aware how angry one can get at the mere suggestion of looking for a positive in a tsunami of negatives. In the midst of the crisis we’re certain there is nothing to be thankful for so we cry, we can’t sleep, we curse God or the Universe for the misfortune that’s befallen us. We exhaust ourselves at the very moment we most need strength. The way to that strength is gratitude.
And the way to find something to be grateful for, is to look for it:
You awaken in the hospital next to your husband’s bed after what feels like and probably is an entire 45-minutes of sleep, and the nurse hands you a fresh towel, toothpaste and a toothbrush and says, “Go, freshen up, I’ve got him.”
Right there, that’s your moment to be grateful — for the nurse, the toothpaste (thank God for the toothpaste), the chance to take a quick shower and get your…