The Healing Power of Gratitude

Dear Janae,

Like many others I have also witnessed the power of gratitude in our lives and know that if we could all maintain gratitude for our wonderful world and life then we would have no issues.  I certainly could focus much more on gratitude.

You asked me if I had any ideas, and I wanted to share with you an area in which I have found gratitude to be personally of great value, an area where the concept of ‘GratOtude’ certainly applies.

A few weeks ago I found a lump in my right breast.  As you can imagine it was a terrifying experience, as it would be for anyone.  The events that followed (including a traumatic trip to the doctors) resulted in my discovery that deep inside of myself I had ‘stored’ huge amounts of fear.  Having gone through some difficult times (and who hasn’t) I became aware that the energy associated with those times was ‘stuck’ in my body and I felt sure that this was what the lump was all about.  Having made this discovery I suddenly saw the lump in a different way and started to understand that it was in fact a gift.  Although this did not remove the fear I suddenly had a new perspective and knew with absolute certainty that this lump was a part of me, something which I had created and therefore I could work with.  I started off wanting to ‘get rid’ of this lump but through visualisations and inner communication with the lump I came to feel at a very deep level that the lump would go of its own accord when I had learned whatever it had come to teach me.  So began a 2 week intensive period of self discovery which involved me realising that I was not expressing my real self, the universal energy of which I was made; and that I had not released old emotions from the past.  I did a lot of forgiveness work and in the process discovered the Centre for Spiritual Living whose philosophy matched my own and I decided to begin training as a practitioner.  I also discovered that I could release trapped energy from my body using my hands and that there was much I had to offer the world.  One day I absent-mindedly walked into the local newsagents and picked up a copy of ‘Kindred Spirit’ which I had not read for over 10 years.  In the magazine I found an article on a book called “Clarion Call” by Nicolya Christi and from that I found the Worldshift Movement which has been an inspiration to me (www.wordshiftmovement.org).

In short Janae -I woke up!!  Investigations found that the lump was in fact a cyst which the hospital drained and I watched it disappear before my eyes, leaving me with a heightened and deeply profound sense of gratitude not only for the gifts it brought but for the fact that I was alive and healthy.

Now, the point is that gratitude for my lump, connecting with it through love not fear brought me to a point where I was able to begin to transform my life and with that realisation came more gratitude.  It seems that the more grateful we are the more we have to be grateful for, and so it goes!  I mentioned that I did a lot of work on forgiveness and one thing that I realised during this work was that much of what I had perceived as being difficult, painful or problematic in my life in the past, was in fact just my perception of events.  I had chosen to see things in certain ways which had led me to experience pain and hurt rather than joy and peace.  In taking full responsibility for this I also experienced overwhelming feelings of gratitude for all that had happened in my life.  I found that forgiveness and gratitude are very closely connected. So, I have learned that gratitude can be used to heal, it can be used to free oneself and it can most certainly be used to transform suffering into peace and pain into joy.   It is the ultimate gift to oneself as well as to others.

I guess what I’m saying in a nutshell is that gratOtude in my experience has been powerful in healing painful areas of my life as well as in bringing joy to others.

Leslee Heenan

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