From Grief to Gratitude.
Some of you may already know this, but for those who don’t, I wanted to share my journey to gratitude with you.
Maybe you’ve been wondering why gratitude is such an important part of my life and how I got to where I am today. I want to share that with you.
Almost 8 years ago, my family suffered a tragic loss. My younger brother Kevin was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in August of 2013 and after a brief 6-month battle, he passed away on February 4, 2014 just shy of his 15th birthday.
"Gratitude blossoms from loss."
This was the case for me. Up until that point in my life, I was a positive person who tried to live life to its fullest. It wasn't until after Kevin's passing that I really started to adopt this gratitude mindset. My family decided we were going to keep moving forward. We knew we weren't going forward without him and that he was still with us - just in a different way. We knew he would want us to keep living, so that is exactly what we did and continue to do.
I think I really started to understand the importance of gratitude after this because I realized that life is unpredictable. We don't know what is going to happen. We don't know what obstacles might be thrown our way. After watching my brother battle this terrible disease for 6 long months, I realized that not everyone gets the opportunities that we do.
Whenever I am working out, I always think of him. If I want to quit, I look down at my wrist (I wear a bracelet that says LFK - Live For Kevin). It instantly gives me the push I need because gratitude takes over. I am grateful for my body and the fact that I GET to move - I don't have to. I see him in the hospital room, with IV's attached to his body, pricks all over, and a disease spreading like wildfire. He wasn't able to get out of bed and move his body like most of us do each day. So, every day you get the opportunity to wake up and live another day, be grateful for it.
The next time you are doing something and you want to quit, pause for a moment. Think about what you are doing and the fact that other people don't get to do that. Be grateful for every experience.
It's hard not to question 'why' he's gone and I don't think that will ever go away, but I decided to look at the situation through a grateful lens. I am beyond grateful that I got 14 amazing years with my little brother. I wouldn't change any of that for the world. This is why we have to lead with gratitude. We need to be grateful for where we are, for what we have and who we are surrounded by. You never know what might happen.
Take a look at your life - the people in it, the experiences you've been through, the opportunities you have been given. Don't take any of that for granted. Every morning that you wake up is something to be grateful for. You get another day on this amazing planet!
I'm not an expert on gratitude, but I love learning about it and incorporating it into my daily life. I have witnessed, first hand, the benefits of living with an 'attitude of gratitude.' It is the healthiest of all human emotions and it is contagious. When you are grateful for what you have, you'll attract more of the positive and good. I think gratitude is so important for every person because it is something we are all capable of. Every single human being has the ability to practice gratitude on a daily basis. It doesn't matter where you are in the world - we can all be grateful for something.
So, remember that.
When you are having a bad day, just take a minute to reflect. Sure things aren't always perfect, but we need to start finding the good. Don't be so quick to jump to the negative. Flip that mindset - find gratitude.
We all want to live fulfilling lives and the truth is, at the root of that fulfillment lies gratitude. This is something I am beyond passionate about and I will continue to share it with all of you. Don't wait any longer. Find your reason for gratitude and start making it a daily practice!
Thanks for reading,