William and Sofie grew up together as brother and sister in a Native Community. Their parents abandoned them when small and they lived with their grandmother. William became angry and turned to alcohol for comfort. The next years were difficult for William as he became more angry and abusive when thinking about the absence of his parents growing up. He landed in prison for violent behavior and had no more friends or family who would help him.
Richard and Susan were married for ten years before they realized they needed help sorting out the emotional issues they developed as teens. Both blamed each other for the other’s misfortune even though they had been together for over ten years. Richard became violent and Susan was verbally abusive. How could they survive together?
Both families above experienced devastating emotions which were hard to calm. How could any of the four with such difficulties move forward to a happy life?
Emotions are based upon our physical and mental reactions to life’s experiences. While the physical pain that we experience can be great and difficult to bear, it is our mental pain that we tend to hold onto longer than we should as it holds us back and keeps us down. We have the ability to be emotionally mature but how do we get there?
We are creatures of habit and we live what feels comfortable, repetitive and familiar. Just like putting on socks and shoes the same way every day, we hold on to what we know. These actions hold us back in emotional recovery.
Starting an emotional recovery includes pondering what good has happened to us in our lives. Although it might be small, there is always some good we have seen from our past. When we think about all those who have helped us, all those who are good that we have known in our life, we become grateful. We feel in our hearts a draw to those who have helped us which is gratitude.
There is a direct connection between gratitude and hope. The more grateful we are for what we have now, the more hope we hold for our future. There is no greater gift that we can give to ourselves and to others than the gift of sincere gratitude and appreciation. As we learn to look for the good around us and as we practice communicating our appreciation through words and actions, we will change. We will begin feel hope. We will begin to see that our actions and choices will improve and that we will be happier in life. We will begin to see more clearly how great our life is or can be when we feel gratitude.
When we feel gratitude we feel hope. Hope is not wishful thinking or fantasizing about the future. Hope is confidence and does not doubt. Hope is trust, vision and brings purpose. This is how we can change our life for the better.
With counseling, William was able to remember all that his grandmother had done for him growing to adulthood. He practiced the gratitude he felt for his grandmother and was soon clean and sober. He was able to move forward in life to a better place and was trained in a career of his choice. Richard and Susan dug deep into their memories for the good in their life and found it. They practiced thinking of the good they had experienced and learned to be grateful for what they had. They realized the life they built together was a good one and hope was restored in their family.
It has been said that we will find what we are looking for in life. If we take the time and effort to look for the good, we will find it and hope can be restored. We need to pay attention. We only have so much time on earth which is precious to us. It’s not a perfect life but a life full of gratitude and hope.