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.

Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.