Gratitude is love.
After having one of the most difficult nights of my life very recently—one where it felt like my heart had broken into a thousand pieces from years of repressed emotion finally coming to the surface—I find myself feeling tremendous gratitude for everyone and everything in my life.
It was a long overdue dark night of the soul, and I have really felt a strange sense of peace and openness since. I don’t know why.
It seems that admitting to myself how badly I really felt opened the door to true healing for me. Hitting rock bottom finally gave me a reason to start over and begin again. It has been cathartic simply to accept that I have not been well. It is only from here that I can begin to make the changes I need to get better.
I expressed what I was going through to some of my closest friends and family, and the love that I have received in return has been incredible. I cannot explain how much this means to me. Some of the most beautiful moments of my entire life have occurred over the past couple days, and that speaks directly to the quality of people in my life. I am completely blown away by the support that has been shown for me.
Having dealt with a severe chronic illness for the better part of the last five years, I have come to feel a deep sense of loneliness in my condition. I have felt trapped in my body. The profound physiological suffering I have experienced has made me feel like I can’t relate to anybody.
This has been my burden.
I have identified with this pain. It has hardened me and made my heart grow cold. I have been afraid to feel because those feelings might be too horrible to bear.
What I have learned is that, with the help of others, nothing is too horrible to bare. No feeling is too intense to hold. No thought is too sinister to acknowledge. No emotion is too scary to accept.
It is the resistance to how we feel that makes us suffer. It has been a long road for me to realize this.
It feels like the shell of my mind has finally cracked, and my heart now has the chance to pick up the slack. I feel open to change for the first time, and this has come with a deep sense of gratitude for everything that has happened.
I am grateful for both the tragedy of all of this and the love that has emerged from it. I am grateful for everyone in my life, every human being who has touched me in some way. I just want to give back the love I have received, and hopefully to do so in spades.
There is no way to be bitter when we are grateful for what we have.
Gratitude is a choice. I truly believe that.
Simple truths ultimately shine through, and one of them is that it is better to reflect on what we have than obsess over what we don’t.
With gratitude, anything is possible. There is always something to be grateful for, even if it is only the simple beauty of being alive. We can always fall back on this in times of darkness. As long as we are alive, there is a chance that things will get better.
Try to appreciate the little things, and then see what happens.
Don’t make excuses. Don’t be afraid to live fully.
I want to transform suffering into love, and this is only possible by living with gratitude.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Larm Rmah/Unsplash
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton
Social Editor: Taia Butler