As I mentioned in my earlier blogs, I do believe there are three phases to gratitude, and this third phase is the most challenging, and the most difficult to reach. Yet the most satisfying and rewarding.
This final phase came to me as a total surprise. It was actually on Thanksgiving Day several years ago. It was a beautiful day and I decided to go for a run. Actually, let me clarify. My idea of a run is lacing up my shoes, running down to the corner, then walking the rest of the way!!!
Well, a few blocks away was a huge church that several people told me was really beautiful and something to see. I had tried several times to visit, but every time I tried to enter, the doors were locked. But this day, as I walked past, I noticed a lot of people walking into the church. The doors were open, so I decided to slip in the side door, and sit in the very back.
Now, I don’t know if it was the sun beaming through the stained glass windows, or the soft church bells ringing outside, or possibly the unlocked doors that helped me unlock this next phase of gratitude, but suddenly the words crossed my lips: “And thank you for all you have taken away from me”.
It caught me off guard – it really surprised me, and it was in that moment that I realized I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for my loss. I would not be living the life I have today if I hadn’t faced all my life challenges. It was through my pain – and my gratitude – that I was able to find a strength inside myself that I didn’t even know existed, a strength that has taken me to this new level in life.
When you reach this third phase of gratitude – being truly grateful for all that you have and for all that you have lost, you will find a peacefulness that I can’t describe in words. If you have a hard time getting to this third phase, let me know. I may have a tip or two that will help you.