Gratitude

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by Amy Weitzel

Amy Weitzel cropped

I recently suffered what I’m now referring to as “The Great Life Snafu of 2016.” OK, so there was nothing particularly great about it … in fact, it actually was a very hard, very painful time in my life, one in which I’m continuing to move through.

“Snafu” is a whimsical word but you’ll find no whimsy when you’re caught up in the chaos and confusion of hurtful, unexpected life events. I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me

Briefly, I got caught up in my pain, and I found myself focusing on the life I thought I had and was going to have. I am a classic overthinker; so if there is anyone who can take a subject and run it into the ground, it would be me. My overworked mind was trying to make sense of the pain and the chaos, and it took its toll on my health as I lost weight and stopped sleeping. The Great Life Snafu of 2016 was taking me down mentally, physically, and emotionally.. The confusion, pain, and fear I felt were so overwhelming I sometimes felt as if I were drowning. The Great Life Snafu of 2016 was anything but whimsical.

Until one day I realized I was giving my energy to the wrong thing. I had spent hours and hours, days and days focusing on the Snafu and suddenly I stopped. It was much like the moment Forrest Gump stopped running. He just stopped, thought for a moment, and decided he was done running. “I’m pretty tired. Think I’ll go home now.” My mind definitely had a Forrest Gump moment.

Out loud, I said to myself, “What do you have now that you’re grateful for?” I had been so focused on what I didn’t have, I forgot what I did have.

The realization of that small mindset shift took my breath away.

I began to list off all of the amazing things in my life: my three amazing children and their successes; my family; my incredible support system of friends; my job and my fantastic co-workers; my beautiful purple home; and the fact I’m nearly done with my MBA. It was such a revelation how the shift in my mind changed my entire life: my mood improved; my eating and sleeping habits returned to normal, and my heart began to heal.

I now practice gratitude daily.

No magic pills. No secrets. No formula. The Great Life Snafu of 2016 is nothing but a distant memory, and through it, I gained one of the best skills I’ve ever learned: the skill of having a thankful heart.

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