Learning About Gratitude After a Cancer Diagnosis

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

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When I woke up this morning, I was greeted by the sunshine pouring in my window. I had to smile as I realized how fortunate I am, first of all, to wake up and second, to reflect upon the wonderful week that I have been experiencing. I started saying my usual morning prayers as I thanked God for the wonderful life that I have. I have a most comfortable, cozy place to live and a most wonderful and loving person in my life with whom to share it. I have my work on this site, enough money 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 and I can never express how grateful I am to be given what I needed in order to find this most wonderful life that I have been given.”Barbara Jacoby

But,I do remember 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 job title that I had attained and a financial status that would show others that I had “succeeded”. But, things were never to materialize for me in that way. And I now understand why my journey took me down a different road that has shown me that 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 as I am doing. 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 it is like to feel alone in this space in order to find a way to let others know 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 especially 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 and I can never express how grateful I am to be given what I needed in order to find this most wonderful life that I have been given.