The Wellness Universe Quote the Day by Gerry Straatemeier

quote of the day Friday

The Wellness Universe Quote  the Day by Gerry Straatemeier

Depression. The feelings most can\’t admit to, yet struggle daily with an overwhelming sadness. Gerry\’s way back to healing and joy: Practicing Gratitude. Gerry reveals her way out of clinical depression that may work for you or the one you love. We believe it can.

The Wellness Universe Quote of the Day by Gerry Straatemeier 91

The GRATITUDE Journey – The Short story:

The disciplined practice of GRATITUDE brought me balance and eventually even abundant joy- after years in a very dark place. It can do the same for you.

The Darkness:

When you are deeply depressed, as I was for many years, you assign meaning and importance to things outside of yourself (and even imagined flaws inside of yourself) that you think are the problem, You take no joy in things that would ordinarily bring you pleasure and so you don\’t even notice what you have to be grateful for. That is a symptom of your depression, not its cause. Your lizard brain (fight or flight) is just trying to protect you by focusing ONLY on the negative and your autonomic nervous system shuts everything else down, including large parts of your brain. It floods your body with chemicals – and higher order thinking becomes a real effort.

But the problem was not the world, nor was it my supposed flaws, nor my challenges in dealing with life’s responsibilities, which are admittedly greater when you are depressed. My problem was the depression itself. It is treatable and I have been in recovery from that depression for 20+ years now.

Every one –EVERYONE – even people who are not clinically depressed as I was, everyone has times of darkness…grief, failure, injury, rejection, victimization, chronic pain or illness, or just being stuck. No one is immune; it is an important part of our spiritual journey. The practice of gratitude can help you through to the other side.

Finding the Light:

Gratitude is a (learned) spiritual discipline that over time over-rode my brain’s dark feedback (“You are fatally flawed and life sucks.”). I was taught to consciously and deliberately focus on anything positive I could find in my life as a coping mechanism. I made actual lists to focus my mind – and at first they were very short. I can see. I can hear. I can move my fingers and toes. Then…I have a roof over my head. The cherry tree is in blossom today. Despite my opinion of myself, I have friends who love me. Eventually, THERE IS TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION and maybe I should try it. I did and it helped.

The gratitude-list got longer as I continued and I reviewed it every day. I started to notice things I could put on the list, and this began to open my eyes to much of the good my brain had been shutting out. It became a daily game (which I still play) to see how much beauty and good I could find to appreciate every day. As I awakened spiritually, gratitude became my reliable “instant” connection to the Source of that Good.

As my gratitude game grew into habit, my heart opened in an entirely new way and I began to see that a Divine Light had been there, inside of me, all along, I just didn’t know it.   I would have never been OPEN enough to find it without my gratitude game.

An Unexpected Gift – Now there was a huge gift yet to come from this practice!! As I became more comfortable in the Light, I learned about affirmations and metaphysics and the Law of Attraction. Eventually I learned that the discipline I had first learned to just make it through another day was a foundational tool to bring so MUCH more good in my life – that we have to pump up our vibrational energy to match our dreams before we can draw them to it. Well, I was already a master at THAT because of my gratitude game and I have a wonderful life today. It’s not the whole story, but it’s a vital thread. If the darkness had not been so intense, I may never have learned this practice and my life would not be so very rich as it is today. So I can also thank the dark.

And now, I can honestly say, “I\’m SO grateful for Gratitude. It brought me from great darkness into the Light.”

With deep gratitude we thank you Gerry for sharing your story, and quite possibly, save a life. For more from Gerry, visit:

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