Gratitude After Cancer

In Breast Cancer, Creating Happiness, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

As I headed out the door this morning, I noticed that it was raining as had been predicted. I checked the weather report and heard that it was suppose to continue all day. But, right before I was ready to make my dash, I was hoping that it would at least slow down to a drizzle and as I peeked through the blinds I found that it had stopped completely. I immediately found myself saying “Thank you” as I put on my coat to head out. And then I started musing about that “Thank you”.

The more gratitude that I feel in my life, the more happiness it creates. Barbara Jacoby

I realized that somewhere along the line I had gotten into the habit of feeling grateful for all of the wonderful things that have come my way but in the moment I didn’t remember exactly when I started doing that. I knew that someone had told me to do it and at the time it felt right, so, I thought I would give it a try. But, it didn’t really become a part of my everyday life until after my cancer diagnosis and treatment and a newfound gratitude for life itself.

I realized that I had also slipped into it in my daily life on just about every level. For example, if someone cut me off while driving, I was grateful that I had been paying attention so that I didn’t get into an accident. That helped me because I was using my energy in that manner rather than getting angry at the driver who cut me off. Or when I got wonderful news about something, my thoughts went immediately to that ever-present “Thank you”. I actually quite often feel like I am jumping up and down on the inside and I just can’t stop smiling.

Now as I reflect on it, I find that the more that I got into the habit of saying “Thank you” out loud or in my thoughts, I realized that the gratitude I felt would make me feel so happy. Heck, I was so grateful for so many things in my life that it seemed like I was pretty much happy all of the time. But, when I do get bad news, I still am quite capable of getting upset and feeling sorry for myself and I do allow myself to let that out. But rather than staying in that mindset for any period of time, I find that I start to focus on all of the reasons how this “bad” news may not be so bad and how I might learn something from it.

I find that this exercise of positive thinking works best when whatever is occurring is happening to me. I am the one who can create the reasons why a particular situation is something for which I am grateful and I am the one who can translate that gratitude into something positive that, in turn, is something that will make me create happiness for myself. And by the same token, I wish that somehow I could find the way to show this process to others. Perhaps that is what I am hoping to accomplish by these writings.

I have so many wonderful people around me. I wish that there were a manual that I could write that would teach everyone how to create this happiness. So far, the best that I have been able to do is to live my life in a way that hopefully will serve as a good example to others in knowing that happiness is something that we can all own and to share my positive outlook with others so that they can see what a difference it makes.

Every time that I thank someone for whatever kindness they may have done for me or every time that someone appreciates what I have done for them, there is a feeling of gratitude toward one another that is indescribable. And the more gratitude that I feel in my life, the more happiness it creates. Seems like a pretty interesting habit to get into if you ask me. And I sure would love for you to share this experience with me if you choose to do so.