When I woke up this morning, I was greeted by the sunshine pouring in my window as I felt a soft breeze upon my face. I had to smile as I realized how fortunate I am, first of all, to wake up and second, to be in a place where the weather does such wonders for my spirit. I started saying my usual morning prayers as I thanked God for the wonderful life that I have. I have a spot to live that is cozy and comfortable and I have the most wonderful and loving person in my life with whom to share it. I have my work, am able to pay my bills, put food on the table and have transportation to take me to where I need to go. What else does anyone need? Nothing, if you ask me.
Gratitude is truly the keystone of a life of happiness if you ask me. Barbara Jacoby
Then I remembered the days when I woke up and didn’t feel this way. I suppose it may have been in the days when I believed that success and happiness were based upon the things that I had that would show others that I had reached some sort of financial pinnacle where I had the best of the best. But, things were never to materialize for me in that way. And I now understand why my path took the twists and turns that it has and I couldn’t be happier about where I have been led.
I know that most people would never understand that breast cancer has changed my life in positive ways but if I still held to all of the beliefs that I was taught so many years ago, I don’t believe that I would have ever become a happy person or have come to the understanding that gratitude is everything. I would not have had the opportunity to write. I would not have had a way to help others in a way that is important to me because I would not have understood what they are feeling and I want them to know that they are not alone. And I don’t think that I would have ever found another situation that would serve as such a driving force for me to give hope and promise and inspiration to others that the future will be different in a wonderful way because we are working together in an effort to find answers for now and for the future.
I am grateful for all other fantastic people that I have met who have shared the cancer journey because I understand that they, too, are grateful for every single day that they wake up to another day of life. There is a feeling that just travels throughout our whole being and is repeated all day long each and every time that something nice happens. When we do something that puts a smile on another person’s face or complete something successfully that we might never have thought we could do, it is more powerful than all of the stuff in the world could make us feel.
I know that I could never begin to list all of the things that bring happiness my way and explain all of the gratitude that I feel inside but the one thing that is at the top of the list is being able to make a positive difference for another person. It doesn’t make a difference whether that difference is big or small but when someone lets me know that something that I have done has helped them in any way, I am grateful. But, this also works in reverse. When someone does something that makes a positive difference for me or helps me out, I need to let them know how grateful I am and what I have learned is that by helping each other and working together, we can make a world for ourselves that is beyond anything we might ever have imagined. Gratitude is truly the keystone of a life of happiness if you ask me.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.