Submitted by Wendy Briggs
A few years before beginning the Gratitude App, I realised my health was so poor that I was scared I would die before I turned 60. A series of bad choices over many consecutive years had led to this predicament. I had no idea how to take care of myself, & treat my body with the respect it deserves. At this stage I had one beautiful granddaughter, who I adored (still Do!!!) but even this ray of sunshine could not lift my heavy veil of negativity & the feeling I was worthless. I knew things had to change, but I neither had the motivation or the energy to investigate how - or try to find out what I could do. In previous years I had repeatedly tried & failed at various self-help courses & multiple weight loss & exercise regimes. Nothing worked because I had no staying power, no belief in myself. A friend led me to a group of people with an outlook that is custom-made for people like me. I had a lot of resistance & a great deal of unwillingness, but the support & love of others kept me coming back - until the hope I saw in their faces seemed to become something that - just maybe - might work for me, given time & a bit more effort on my part. One thing that stood out was the way they looked for the good in every situation, even the most difficult & trying of times - & their willingness to see THEIR part in anything untoward that happened to them - they really knew how to be accountable for their own actions, Blaming others just was not non their agenda. These were things I really found challenging, & I needed a lot of support & guidance around it. I noticed those with constant gratitude were experiencing better results all round. Those that remained of a negative outlook found things & people to criticise, & many of them ended up dropping away - or constantly coming & going without being willing to make any long term changes to their thinking & behaviours. I knew who I wanted to be like - but still I did not know how!! I spoke in depth to many of the wonderful people in this group, & slowly began to look for things to be grateful for. 2 other gorgeous grandchildren arriving to the family helped!! My terminally ill husband passing away gently & free from pain was something........his death could have been so much worse for him, it was a blessing to see him pass so gently after many years of slow degeneration. My children were meeting partners of such lovely natures & good character - I am grateful they are still in those relationships today. But, my head still preferred negativity, it was my normal - it was when I felt the most "comfortable". Somehow it was what I related to, deep down. My health had improved remarkably by this stage, & my friends constantly reminded me of this miracle. But I still wanted more. Then I found the Gratitude App. Three things a day that I'm grateful for - I found that easy! very do-able! As my attitude of gratitude increased, I found myself taking it to my calls to friends, & talking about it constantly. Another friend, external to this group of people, told me of a Gratitude group she had joined, where we are partnered with another person from anywhere in the world & off we go, the only aim being to share gratitude with each other. My first pairing did not work (never heard from them!!), but that was quickly sorted, & in less than 6 months I had developed a warm, close & loving relationship with a virtual stranger. One day I will travel to the other side of the world to meet this soul-sister!! I shared these stories with my physio, & - lo & behold - he has started a virtual book club, where the books we read are based on gratitude & bettering ourselves. Once a month we meet via Zoom & a mighty powerful discussions result!! Again, it's a worldwide event! From little things, big things grow - I think that's a line from a ditty in a song advertising some bank - but it's so much more suited to gratitude practices.What we give out - returns to us.What we practice - grows. What we believe - is what we become. I know today, I wake up with a song in my heart, & a good feeling regarding what the day will bring - & the knowledge & acceptance that sad times are a part of life - but part of the journey, & are designed to build our character, & give us the skills to help others we meet who may be facing similar situations. I am blessed, my life is better than it has ever been. And I rocked turning 60, & my goal is to dance at my grandchildren's weddings. The eldest is only 9, so I've got plenty of time to learn how to dance!!!
With much gratitude for this wonderful journey called life & for the Gratitude App that made something challenging become the best part of my day! Thank you.
~ Wendy Briggs