My gratitude miracle #1

Yes, that’s right. My gratitude miracle number number 1. I am a recent convert to gratitude. But since I have come around and changed my outlook on life miracles keep happening.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before I am a rather pragmatic person, very much a no frills kinda gal. I was raised by scientists with a view of the world that everything can be explained by things in the world around us even if we haven’t yet found the missing key to the puzzle. I didn’t believe in ‘magic’ although I so wanted to and with that mindset I just got on with my life.

A couple of years ago life got really challenging for me. Things were happening around me that were out of my control and they frightened me to my core. I was living in a state of panic and dread all the time. Two people that I loved intensely were making choices and moving down separate paths away from me where I couldn’t follow. They were not listening to me. I couldn’t change their minds or their direction no matter how hard I tried. My fear of being left and my fear of what would happen totally consumed me.

Another of my traits is that I don’t get sad, I get mad. My fear caused me to rage and rail against the situation and the people who I loved so dearly. Of course this is not a recommended tactic for bringing people back into your sphere of influence and, spoiler alert, it didn’t work.

I finally hit a point where I had to admit I didn’t have any control over the situation. For a ‘fixer’ like me this was a painful admission. I wallowed for a little while, ok maybe ‘little’ is being generous, but I finally came to a point where something had to change. I couldn’t control the outside world and all I could do was change something in me. I had to start walking the walk of all the pep talks I had given to others. My mantra, ‘Happiness is a decision’ reared its mocking head back at me.

So, I thought I’d try something new just for myself. I thought I should start to count my blessings instead of my problems and start letting go. It sounds so simple right? Well it wasn’t. My state of mind was fixed out of habit where it had been. But I had to try.

I took out a new notebook. I love new notebooks by the way. They are a symbol of a fresh start to me. Anyway, I sat staring at a blank page for a time. I then wrote the following heading.

I am grateful for:

And then I sat looking at it again.

Then I started writing and the first things I wrote was that I was grateful that the ones that I loved were still alive and in the world. And Bang! I realised that I was so so lucky. My situation could be so much worse.

Once that dam had burst I filled a page of dot points.

I made a promise to myself that I would start each day by writing down the things I was grateful for. So, I started my ‘Gratitude Practice’ as I have now learnt it is called. Whatever. The thing is that for me it helped shift my outlook and made me search for the positives in any moment.

Well here’s the miracle. Two days into my new gratitude practice both my estranged loved ones came back to me. On their own terms and within an hour of each other on the same day! I was gobsmacked and grateful? I don’t think there’s a big enough word. GRATEFUL doesn’t do it justice.

It was a miracle, an out an out 180-degree turn around of the situation. Healing and change began and from where I sit today looking back those dark days are long behind us. Thank goodness. No, thank gratitude.

I know that changing perception of situations can help your own attitude and feelings but this was the magic that I had always wanted so much and it was real.

Megan Ruffino
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