“When Your Heart is Full of Gratitude, There’s No Room for . . .”

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A friend of mine said something to me I’ve been mulling over ever since.

This friend, Clare Masters, has had incredible health challenges (read her gofundme posts here). Botched surgeries, constant pain, and the pressure of trying to live on $4000/year could easily have stolen her life.

While every day is a challenge for Clare, you would never know it if you talked to her. She is always positive, always looking for ways to give back. She’s the kind of person you want to help out as much as you can. She never complains (though if you ask and really want to know, she’ll be honest), and she’s always looking for ways to give to you.

At a recent hospital stay, a nurse asked her how she is able to stay so positive. Why wasn’t she bitter about the cards life handed her?

Clare’s answer: “When your heart is full of gratitude, there’s little room for bitterness.”

While Clare doesn’t experience many of the blessings we take for granted (such as a home of her own the ability to drive), she chooses to focus on what she has to be grateful for: friends that step in and provide help, a God who is always there, children, opportunities to serve those who are kind to her.

Gratitude is her key to peace and joy, despite her circumstances.

When I was going through a severe post-partem depression after my daughter was born, gratitude was also what got me through it. I would look for the things that felt like “gifts” from God.

The more I looked for the gifts, the more I saw.

Abundant Gifts by Diane EbleMy “gifts journal” eventually became my book, Abundant Gifts. I still keep a gifts journal and try to jot down at the end of the day the “gifts” and “wins” from the day. I find if I don’t write it down, I quickly forget. Having a record of God’s past faithfulness does wonders to bolster me during times when the good things of life aren’t as readily apparent.

Of late, I’ve been especially noticing that when things go wrong, but I thank God for those very things, he turns them around in some way for good.

For instance, when we found a leak under our kitchen sink, we reached out to people in our church, and found a new friend who was very happy to come over and help us diagnose and fix the problem. (My husband and I don’t have any “fix it” sense at all.)

Sometimes when things go wrong, it’s actually a gift to help us recognize and heal something. Recently I got locked out of my computer recently, and couldn’t access any files at all (quite a big deal when my whole business is in that computer). I reached out to several people I thought might help.

At first I came up with nothing. Nobody responded, which triggered me big time into “see, I have to do everything myself, figure it out by myself.” It surprised me how that old program came up so strongly.

I addressed it with Healing Codes and prayer. Within a few days I had a whole tech team at my disposal: people willing to help me. I had been praying for months about whom I could call on for help with such matters, and now I have a whole tech team! (One of the people was the very same man who helped with the sink! He has a lovely way of saying, “My pleasure,” when I try to thank him.)

The Important Step Before You Land on Gratitude

Gratitude is life-giving, but there’s a crucial step to take before you park on this perspective.

That all-important step is to acknowledge your feelings. My clients who heal the slowest–or frankly, not at all–are the ones who refuse to let themselves “go to” the negative.

Life happens. Things go wrong. Big things, little things. When they do, don’t stuff your feelings about it.  Let yourself first need to feel the frustration, fear, anger–whatever. Otherwise that negative energy will go into your body and cause problems.

Once you acknowledge the negative feeling, if it’s really out of proportion to the circumstances (i.e. you’re “triggered” like I was over the computer), see if you can find another time in your life when you felt that way, and make a note to address that with a Healing Code or healing prayer.

Once you acknowledge your feelings and explore the roots of them, you can gain perspective by turning to gratitude and appreciation. Focus on the good things in your life while doing a Healing Code or just praying to God. (The Psalms are filled with just this pattern: the psalmist starts with feelings, often negative, and works his way through to gratitude and praise.)

As your heart fills with gratitude, you will find “there’s little room for bitterness” or frustration or worry or fear or anything negative. Turn to gratitude and faith that God can and will bring something good out of this. That approach turns frustrations into anticipation: “I wonder what good God will bring out of this.”

The bigger “this” is, the more potential glory there is in the answer.

If you would like help with this process, feel free to contact me for a Healing Code and/or healing prayer. Also, you might want to check out my Abundant Gifts blog and the free gifts journal I mentioned.

 

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Elise Kennedy
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I especially like what you pointed out: that first you have to feel how you really feel and clear it out, then go for love and gratitude. So true!

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