On Gratitude

John McManamy Health Guide
  • This is a quick piece about gratitude. This may sound like a joke to many of us, having regard to what we have to live with and the many tricks that fate seems to play on us, but humor me, okay?

     

    I am headed into the eighth anniversary of moving to southern CA from the east coast. As I recounted in my memoir:

     

    One day I was winding down from a round of book-related speaking engagements and radio interviews, making a mental note to pick up a Thanksgiving turkey, the next my marriage broke up.

     

    Ten days later, I was waking up to a Van Gogh sun in the mountains 40 miles out of San Diego. I have alluded to this abrupt transition and my ultimate healing many times over, both here on HealthCentral and elsewhere. 

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    Anyway, the other day I was thinking: Maybe it would be cool to have some people around to celebrate my good fortune. And then it struck me - Holy crap! Am I actually experiencing ... gratitude?

     

    It hasn’t always been easy. Last year at this time, I was reeling from a relationship breakup. Personal loss has a way of stoking self-loathing and self-doubt: I was a misfit, an outsider, an alien living on the wrong planet.

     

    Somehow, I got through the holidays and into the new year. Then I fell in with a new group of people, fellow outliers who validated my sense of being different. People who gave me sanctuary, a safe place. People who made me feel special.

     

    At the same time, I was doing the things that made me feel whole - hiking in nature, writing a novel, attending drum circles with my didgeridoo. Not to mention posting installments to my blog here at HealthCentral.

     

    By the middle of the summer, I felt I had found my way back. An ordinary achievement. Yet, I reflected, how easily it could have gone the other way. I’ve been there, on the other side of the other way. This time it didn’t happen.

     

    Quite the opposite. Good things have happened. Reasons to feel - what’s the word? - grateful. Reasons to reflect on - hold on, I’ll get it in a second - gratitude.

     

    It may not happen too much to us, this gratitude thing, but when it does let’s not waste the opportunity to express it or even celebrate it. Maybe the time is not right for you. Maybe life is coming at you a bit too strong right now. But please, don't rule out this thought: Life has a way of playing tricks on us and sometimes these tricks have good outcomes. Trust me, your time will come. 

     

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    Many thanks to my virtual community here at HealthCentral. For your continued support, I am eternally - drumroll, please - grateful.   

     

Published On: November 17, 2014