In 2011, my late Father was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, a rare terminal muscles wasting disease. It’s the same disease Stephen Hawkings lived with. Within 6 months of being diagnosed, my Dad had lost his ability talk, walk or move any part of his body. We were told he doesn’t have long to live. Literally everything changed in an instant. His whole life changed and so did our world. My dad was a very active man, he was a mentor at an all girls school, a pastor of a church, an ex-DJ, a husband and Father to 3. Not to mention the many people he took under his wings. Seeing my dad deteriorate was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. I can’t count the times I’ve broken down in the streets, shops and the sleepless nights I endured. Overwhelmed by the thoughts of “how will my Dad cope with this disease?” “what would happen to the family? My mum? My siblings?” “Is the doctor really right?”

My soul was crushed and to be honest, I’m still healing.

One day, I went to a park that wasn’t too far from my house. This was a place I used to retreat to when I was younger and needed to rest my mind. I climbed a hill and sat on a rock facing towards a beautiful scenic lake. It was at this moment I challenged my thoughts and perspective. I consciously made a decision to take my focus off all what seemed to be going wrong, and began to be thankful and appreciative of all the good. The ‘good’ you might wonder.. yes the good! Of course the situation we were in was poooop, but even in that there were things to be grateful for.

At first I struggled to think of anything. I started with being thankful for somewhere to live and life. As time went on it developed into being thankful for a supportive family, for my Dad to be apart of a caring home and even though my dad’s unwell right now, I’m thankful that he still has a smile, full of faith and joy.

Having an attitude of gratitude changed everything for me! Yes I still worried, cried and got frustrated, but over time it definitely helped me put things into perspective. I became a happier, more positive and was able to enjoy life with my dad and family more. Having gratitude brought my attention into the present. Pain, stress and worry ends where gratitude begins.

Life right now might not be as you had hoped it to be, but there’s always something to be grateful for. Find this! Try it, every day, think of 5 things to be grateful for. Be specific. You can think about them or write them down. As you repeat this habit, you’ll recognise and notice the difference it has on your inner being. You will experience more joy, energy and peace flowing from the inside out. It won’t change your situation, but it’ll change how you live through it.

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