John F. Kennedy once said that as we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
M. Scott Peck said that love is an action.
Both love and gratitude are actions. It doesn’t matter what you say, it matters what you DO. Every year I post the YouTube video HERE for my readers on gratitude and I was touched, and grateful, for both the public and private response to it. I am always humbled by being in a position to give even one person a small ray of hope, especially on a difficult day like a holiday. We may be fine before the holiday, but holidays and anniversaries and birthdays can trigger all kinds of unexpected sadness and anxiety.
My life would not be possible without others who helped me during those very bleak and dark days when I was depressed, anxious, borderline suicidal and feeling hopeless.
I remember driving down the road and the only way to avoid driving the car into a wall was to keep chanting, as tears streamed down my face, “I am a child of God and God loves me.” Someone gave me that to say when I was sitting in a therapist’s waiting room and my hands were physically shaking. This man, someone I didn’t know and had never met, turned to me and said, “Just remember, you are a child of God and God loves you.”
He said it in this sweet and kind voice, almost a whisper, that was incredibly soothing. I wasn’t even sure if it was true or even if there was a God but I held onto it, and I said it like a mantra whenever I didn’t think I could go on another minute. Many of the techniques I’ve taught over the years – affirmations, mantras, acceptance statement, “even though” statements are in the workbook. And in that dark moment, before anyone taught me anything, I held onto that mantra like it was the only lifeline I had. At the time it was. But I learned the importance of all of them.
I see the amazing healing that takes place in GPYB boot camps, seminars and workshops. The healing comes from the willingness to do the work, to support each other and the feeling that you don’t have to do this alone. Because you know what? YOU DON’T! There is an amazing transformation that I am honored to witness when my groups share with each other. Wonderful healing takes place.
I’ve told the following story when I’ve done speaking engagements and in seminars and on the blog. It’s a story that really has stayed with me all these years.