Tag Archive: Suffering


 

As children we believe that we are the center of everything, that is why children who experience the trauma of problems in the family, such as marital discord and divorce, often blame themselves for it. It is just part and parcel of childhood development, It is even worse when parents appear to blame us by behavior that seems to be rejecting of us. Of course there are times when that is perception and there are times when the rejection is real. But do we know the motives behind these behaviors? Not always, because once again we think it is about us, not them.

Grief

Grief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The problems in my family were not about marital discord, but something that shook the very foundations of the entire family, the death of my brother. This is perhaps the most traumatic thing that can happen to parents, and it often results in divorce. In my parents’ case, they supported each other, which was good, but that does not mean that the family dynamics were not dramatically affected.

It has taken me a long time to put the pieces together and realize how much of my parents’ behavior towards me was a result of this. Some of the details I only found out about as an adult. My therapist also helped me to understand this better as well. I am now in a position where I am able to finally put myself in their place, rather than letting my wounded inner child carry the whole narrative. Perhaps I should have seen this earlier, I am now 50 years old, but better late than never.

From my earliest recollections, I never felt loved. My mother was critical and rejecting of me and my father was distant. I never bonded with either of them. There are many reasons for this dynamic, but one of the big ones was the accidental death of my older brother at age six. I was only a year and a half old when this happened and my sister was four,

Looking at family pictures is very telling. My sister for instance looked very happy and care-free before this happened. Afterwards I can see the birth of the very serious sister that I knew growing up.

I don’t remember my brother, yet oddly enough I miss him. A piece of the family went missing and never came back. I am told that he adored me, and would crawl along behind me on the floor and call me “baby-doll.”

The trauma didn’t actually start with his death, although that was the climax of it. He was always a sickly child. Born prematurely, he had a defect in his stomach valve that caused him to have serious fits of vomiting, where he became dehydrated enough to require medical attention. Insurance laws on pre-existing conditions back then made it extremely difficult for him to get the surgery he needed to correct the problem. Family pictures show him as a happy child, but pale and skinny. He looked similar to pictures I have seen of children with cancer.

Eventually he did have the surgery, but it did not fix the problem. During another one of his vomiting episodes my mother took him to the doctor. His regular doctor was out of the office, but another one was covering for him. My parents at that time had no idea that he was not a pediatrician. He gave my brother a shot of compazine for the nausea and sent him home.

The following details I only got from my father after my mother passed. I never knew the exact details of my brother’s death but they are horrifying.

In the afternoon my mother got a call from the doctor. He told her that he thought she should take my brother to the hospital. But my brother had stopped vomiting so she assured him that everything was fine. She just thought the doctor was acting out of an abundance of caution.

That night my brother died in his sleep. An autopsy showed that he had fluid in his lungs. The medical examiner believed that he aspirated vomit.

My father was very suspicious about the whole thing and went to see the pediatrician. Having not treated my brother himself he looked in the medical record. He did not have much to say to my father, but he left the record with my dad before leaving and asked for him to take it to the front desk. My father believes this was intentional, that the doctor wanted him to see what was in there. My father took note of what drug he was given and the dosage. When he looked it up he discovered that the doctor had given him the ADULT dose of the drug!

And the most horrible part of the whole thing is that obviously the doctor at some point realized what he had done, which is why he made the strange call to my mother. But he was too chicken to tell the truth so he could get help!

The way compazine works to stop vomiting is to reduce the gag reflex but it also reduces the choking reflex as well. In an appropriate dose that is not a problem. But in the dose that my brother was given it completely eliminated it. My mother gave him water before putting him to bed. That water went straight into his lungs, explaining the autopsy results.

My mother blamed herself for not taking him to the hospital. She felt that she had put finances before my brother’s well-being because my father had just gotten a new job and they did not have insurance yet. Of course it was never her fault but that did not stop her from feeling guilty.

My father put the blame where it belonged and went to a lawyer but at that time the doctors were the ones who had all the powerful lawyers so it would have been almost impossible to win the case. Furthermore my father had no money to pursue this. And it was not going to bring my brother back anyway.

So here was my grief stricken mother who was trying to hold it all together and still take care of two young children, one just a baby. No wonder I felt rejected, she simply couldn’t deal with it all. My sister was probably old enough to be sensitive to the situation and try not to be a bother. Even before my brother died though, my mother most likely was having some trouble taking care of me because my brother was sick all the time.

Things were very bad for my father as well. In fact I can’t even imagine how he had the strength to keep going. He had to take time off from his new job to take care of funeral arrangements. And his boss bullied him over it. And not just him, but my father’s co-workers as well. My father has told me that they actually made sick jokes about my brother’s death. And he also told me something that shocked me even more than that. He said that this is the kind of bullying that makes people want to kill themselves. Then he said “But suicide would not have solved anything.”

Even as I write this down I am fighting back tears. My poor, poor brave father! No one should ever have to go through that!

He actually stayed at the job because they needed the money. So day after day he had to keep going. He was fired eventually, and this same boss blacklisted him, so he could not get another job. But my father got lucky on one count. He talked to someone who knew this boss and it turns out this guy had something scandalous on him, and told my father not to worry, that he would take care of the situation. The blacklisting stopped.

After putting this all together how can I not have empathy for what both of them went through? I would not have been able to endure that.

I now know that it wasn’t about me. The rejection I felt was from two people who were struggling to keep their heads above water. And they made it. They loved my sister and I enough to keep going.

God bless them both.

 

 

 

A new theory for why Buddhist meditation makes us feel good

Meditation

Booze. Cigarettes. Gambling. The human brain is vulnerable to all sorts of addictions. And thinking might be one of them. That’s right – in many Buddhist texts, the endless stream of rumination that runs through the mind of the average person isn’t merely a distracting habit, but a genuine addiction that befuddles the intellect and inhibits spiritual development. In a new article, a leading neuropsychologist makes the same claim – that we’re all addicted to daydreaming, and that the neurology of our addictions is the same as that of addiction to drugs. What’s more, certain forms of Buddhist meditation may release the brain’s chemical hold on itself, releasing us from our addictive daydreams.

The article, published this fall in Religion, Brain & Behavior, outlines a novel model for how meditation works. As such, it doesn’t present any new empirical research, and only reviews prior studies. But its author, Bowling Green State University psychologist Patricia Sharp, is deeply read in the neurophysiology of reward, addiction, and meditation, and her synthesis of material across related disciplines is both rich and compelling.

Sharp’s argument hinges on the claim that, as Buddhist scriptures teach, life’s rewards tend to lose their sweetness over time. For example, people who get rich tend to enjoy a quick spike in happiness – but that spike doesn’t last very long. Pretty soon, their happiness levels tend to return back to where they were. Their new riches don’t make them any happier than they were before. Thus, the pleasures of the world are inherently, well…disappointing.

What’s innovative is Sharp’s claim that thought itself – particularly the ruminative, daydreaming style of thought that consumes nearly half our waking hours – fits this same pattern. Each individual daydream might offer a little internal reward, such as when we fantasize about accepting a trophy or scoring a date with the office bombshell. But over time, the constant barrage of imagined experiences begins to lose its luster, to become unrewarding – and maybe even to inhibit our ability to feel pleasure in general.

Sharp doesn’t mention the First Noble Truth of Buddhism in her paper, but she’s referring to something pretty close to what it calls dukkha, or suffering – the fundamental unsatisfactoriness of life. Dukkha means that all the things we crave and become attached to can’t actually deliver on their glorious promises. Whether it’s rich food, sex, alcohol, wealth, or mere fantasies, the objects of our cravings always leave us feeling dissatisfied after we attain them.

Offering a neurobiological description of this basic unsatisfactoriness, Sharp points out that the nucleus accumbens – a part of the brain that plays a central role in reward and motivation – receives dopamine inputs from other regions such as the ventral tegmental area and the medial substantia nigra. Together, these regions form a circuit that enables reward-based learning, or conditioned responses. Think Pavlov: train a dog to understand that the sound of a bell is always followed by dinner, and pretty soon the dog learns to salivate when he hears the ringing. Inside his brain, dopamine projections into the nucleus accumbens (yes, dogs have them too) have learned to fire in in response to the predicted reward. The dog literally gets a little burst of happy chemicals when he hears the bell, because the conditioned responses have worn grooves into his reward circuitry.

The problem? “Overlearning.” If you fire the same circuits often enough, their reward value starts to decline. The job of the nucleus accumbens, in this model, is to reinforce adaptive associations between stimuli and behavior. Dopamine in the nucleus accumbens may serve as a “biochemical stamp” that marks connections between stimuli and behavioral responses. Once the right pattern has been established, the brain doesn’t necessarily need that dopamine signal anymore – the pathway is already there. So the reward signals fade away, suppressed by inhibitor cells that project from the nucleus accumbens back into the midbrain, where they down-regulate dopamine release. The reward pathway is still there, entrenched in the brain through a network of strong, habit-worn connections. But the reward itself – dopamine – is gone. This process may explain the “hedonic treadmill” effect so unpleasantly familiar to us all, in which initially pleasurable or exciting stimuli lose their appeal over time.

One particularly nasty result of this hedonic treadmill effect can be compulsive, addictive behavior. Think about a rat obsessively pulling a lever to deliver cocaine – or a glassy-eyed casino-goer stuffing quarters into a slot machine. These compulsive behaviors arise from long-established reward pathways, now devoid of dopamine but still connective and active. Sharp argues that both chemical addiction and simple habituation to everyday rewards result from this gradual down-regulation of dopamine projections to the nucleus accumbens.

What’s more, our habitual fantasies and daydreams may follow the same pattern. Each time our minds wander, we start to fantasize, plan, and construct imaginative scenarios. Many of these imaginative scenarios come with their own little pulses of reward, as the hippocampus and other limbic regions carry excitable signals into the accumbens. Over time, our brains crystallize patterns of thought that repeat the same types of thoughts and daydreams over and over. Initially, these crystallizations were motivated by dopamine flushes in the reward system. But eventually, the dopamine rewards taper off – even though the thought patterns are still there. We’re left with a compulsive, clinging re-running of the same old thoughts, a repeating of the same mental scenarios obsessively. Worse, the holistic effect may be a general drop-off in happiness, because we’re indulging in lots of mental activity that offers no rewards. Our daydreams may be literally inhibiting pleasure. In Sharp’s words,

our constant engagement in compulsive, repetitive thought patterns tends to cause an ongoing, powerfully conditioned decrease in dopamine release, so that dopamine is chronically below what would be expected in the absence of these ongoing mental patterns.

The solution? Meditation! In particular, Buddhist samatha, or shamatta, meditation entails intense mental absorption and the cessation of thoughts. Sharp suggests that such meditative states, while difficult to achieve, may serve to break up established patterns of connectivity within the brain. These patterns, or “attractor networks,” are sort of like long-established wrinkles in your favorite shirt. You might put the shirt through the wash, but if you leave the shirt draped carelessly over a chair…well, the same crease shows back up again. Likewise, our habitual patterns of neural connectivity – in which the same clusters of neurons are activated synchronously – are always waiting to reappear.

In contrast, previous research has shown that intense meditative states synchronize activity across networks in the brain. These whole-brain patterns of synchronization are structurally similar to certain epileptic seizure states, in which normal, localized patterns of connectivity are suppressed and global synchrony takes over instead. These epileptic states, Sharp suggests, flood the brain with acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that can boost signal connections between cells from widely separated regions in the brain. In an acetylcholine-soaked brain, established knots of habit-bound connectivity may be temporarily relaxed, replaced with more general, dynamic connectivity across the entire cortex.

The overall effect of samatha meditation, then, may be what Sharp calls a “general loosening of the existent attractor networks in the brain.” Importantly, this loosening may be exactly what we need in order to experience bliss. Attractor networks in the brain are tight knots of connections. When the nucleus accumbens is activated by a long-established circuit, it sends signals back to the midbrain to inhibit dopamine production. Thus, when long-established knots of connection are suppressed, these inhibitory signals go silent. The dopamine can start pumping again. And we start to feel good. This, Sharp suggests, is how meditation works its magic: by releasing our brains’ constrictive holds on our reward systems, and allowing the normal flow of dopamine to start up once more.

Sharp’s model is speculative and theoretical. It appears in print alongside with a half-dozen response commentaries from experts, many of which are critical. It doesn’t offer any new empirical data. But it’s fascinating. And it suggests exciting new possibilities for research, and for thinking about how the brain works. Nowhere else has the time-honored Buddhist claim that our daily obsessive thoughts and mind-wandering are actual addictions been so forcefully presented in modern biological terms. Sometimes, speculative science is the most interesting – and the most groundbreaking.

Now for a confession: recently, I’ve nursed curmudgeonly concerns about our growing American enthusiasm for Buddhism and “mindfulness” training. I’m nervous that claiming Buddhist identity has become a marker of upper-middle class bourgeois sensibility, set against the hopelessly uncool Christianity or Judaism of the establishment. (Bizarrely, the bourgeoisie in the United States suffers from the chronic, and dangerous, delusion that it is somehow not the establishment – as evidenced by how canny companies sell their goods by showing off how countercultural and rebellious they are.) And I’m wary of the assumption that all mind-wandering is necessarily bad. We don’t all need to be “mindful” all the time. In fact, as recent research has shown, lack of daydreaming can even hurt us.

So Buddhism may be a little trendy these days, and our conversations about mindfulness could use more depth. But just because something is trendy doesn’t mean it’s bad. Buddhism has produced some of the most powerful psychology the world has ever seen, and its practices and insights are, frankly, invaluable. Sharp’s fascinating model gives us another useful insight into why.

 
Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scienceonreligion/2014/12/a-new-theory-for-why-buddhist-meditation-makes-us-feel-good/#ixzz3LF18zTu4

 

This is such a realistic and compassionate point of view on Robin William’s suicide that I just have to share it. Be warned that this may be triggering for some people.

From the Patheos blog Camels With Hammers

 

Robin Williams’s Verdict on Life

 

 

 

 

the cargo

the cargo (Photo credit: fallsroad)

 

I started this blog as an inspirational site. However there are times when I just don’t feel positive or even spiritual. Because of that I have not been posting much here. That may sound silly, but I do not want to bring people down. On the other hand, I am human and perhaps my pain can also serve a purpose in helping others. So today I do not feel “enlightened” Today I don’t feel God. Today I do not see myself as a”being of Light and Love” (as we all are). Today I feel like crap and I guess that is okay. I wrote this poem today:

Walls

The walls fall down

And it is just me

Naked

And screaming at the sky

Can she hear me?

I can’t get rid

Of the ugly image

Of me

The unwanted

The undeserving

She may hate me

But if you praise me too much

I hate it

Don’t want it

Can’t accept it

You don’t know me

And I won’t let you know me

I think I’ll ruin your life

I can’t bear the responsibility

I can’t bear the rejection

I think I am doing you a favor

By keeping to myself

What good am I?

Thank God I have no children

Thank God I have no husband

There is just me

And she is not good enough

Never good enough

Run away from me

Run away…

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God answers..

Soul Healing Art

I Asked God

I asked God for strength-
I was given trials
So that I may realize
The strength that lay within me.

I asked God for forgiveness-
I was given wounds
So that I may realize
The forgiveness that lay within me.

I asked God for hope-
I was given challenges
So that I may realize
The hope that lay within me.

I asked God for passion-
I was given failures
So that I may realize
The passion that lay within me.

I asked God for union-
I was given isolation
So that I may realize
The union that lay within me.

I asked God for peace-
I was given suffering
So that I may realize
The peace that lay within me.

All these and more
I asked for
And God provided
That I may know-

The strength, passion,
peace, hope, and love
within me.

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Pain, Pain, Go Away…

Day 37 - Pain

Day 37 – Pain (Photo credit: DJorgensen)

I haven’t been writing lately, maybe because I feel like I should be doing better than I am, which is really nothing more than pride. I do not look down on others when they are having a rough time, but me? I am supposed to be the inspiration for others! I am supposed to be enlightened!

Forget that. I am in horrible pain with  fibromyalgia and I am mad at myself and fate.  I don’t want this. Last night I tried to make my body go numb to help stop the physical pain. It is a spontaneous thing I have done at times when mental pain has gotten too bad, a form of checking out. It actually helped this time, but only for a little while. My nerves are sensitized to pain and I figure that maybe through my mind I can “unsensitize” them.  I try to envision waves of light healing me, but it doesn’t help.

I am trying aromatherapy baths with Lavender oil and sometimes it helps and other times it doesn’t. Or it only helps for a little while. I have bought other essential oils to try, but they can be expensive. I have just made a call to set up an appointment with a massage therapist, another expense I don’t want to pay, but I am desperate right now.

The combination of having a mental disorder and a chronic pain and fatigue condition is overwhelming. A favorite author of mine, Kathleen Crowley knows about this first hand. I became familiar with her writing when I worked at a mental health social center. We used her book, The Power of Procovery in Healing Mental Illness, in one of our classes. Her first book, The Day Room: A Memoir of Madness and Mending, chronicles her journey through dealing with the effects of nerve damage due to medical malpractice. Nothing helped the pain and she ended up with a mental breakdown. Somehow this woman managed to recover her sanity and deal with the pain, which she has to this day. Although I found her book an inspiring read, I still feel something is missing because she really did not get into specifics about how she learned to deal with her physical pain. I actually met her a long time ago, at a mental health training I went to, and I wish I had ask her about that, but then I was not in bad pain at that time.

Still both books I recommend, especially The Power of Procovery. “Procovery” is a word she coined to express the idea that we need to let go of our old life in order to move forward and it’s mantra is “Just Start Anywhere!” This is good to remember now when I need to remember that I just need to take small steps to help myself instead of being completely helpless.

I have to confess that while I am very good at teaching others, I am often a bad student. I need to get back to the basics. It is hard though, because I want that magic formula that will give me my life back.

I hate having to push myself to do anything at all. Going to the mental health center where I get support is a challenge when I am hurting physically and mentally. But what other choice do I have? I am not going down the road of self-destruction again. if not for myself, at least for my family.

The truth is that I really don’t want to die, I just don’t want to live like this anymore. But there is a part of me that knows that my time here is not finished and that I am meant to accomplish more tasks. Last week I was sobbing to my therapist, saying “I want to matter!” Of course the truth is that I do matter, in some small way to others and my work isn’t done. But there is fear, a lot of fear, not only about my physical condition but because I am afraid of life, of reaching out. I hide my pain because I do not want to burden others and also because I am afraid of rejection. Even rejection by my readers, whom I think will condemn me for not being “spiritual enough.”

Okay I tell myself “You are human. Get over yourself!”

Any thoughts and advice would be welcome. 😉

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A Poem About Recovery

 

Here is an insightful poem from Kati Morton’s Mental Health Social Network:

A Poem About Recovery

small-&-greedy_658985

Today I do not want to recover,
Today I want to curl up in my bed of addiction and sleep in.
Tomorrow I may put the razor away, and eat my lunch..
But today,
today want to I fall down.
Today I want to become a quitter.
Today I want to tuck my resolve into a corner of my dresser,
And dust away the remnant’s of my confidence
from the picture frame of friends who left me.
Today I am willing to crumple my origami heart just for a bit of relief.

Today I learn the meaning of strength,
Today I define struggle.

Recovery isn’t what I keep telling myself it is.
Recovery is waiting in a rainstorm because you have faith that a rainbow will appear.
Recovery is walking through a haunted house of my demons, and believing that I’ll find an exit.
Recovery is taking off the blindfold, and being blinded by the light.
Recovery is your eyes adjusting to the light.
Recovery is moving on.
Recovery is learning.
Recovery needs tears to water it before it blossoms.
Recovery is the caterpillar in it’s cocoon, waiting to become the butterfly it was promised.
Recovery isn’t an accident, a coincident, it isn’t luck.
Recovery is faith.
Recovery is work.
Recovery is slow steady healing.
Not an eclipse of the heart,
But a changing of the seasons,
And I’m still waiting for spring.
Recovery is being vulnerable.
Recovery is forgiving.
Recovery is acceptance.

Recovery is a lot of poems.
Recovery is a lot of crying.
Recovery is a lot of nostalgic songs.
Recovery is a lot of late nights on tumblr, or on the phone.

Recovery isn’t a dream,
Recovery isn’t made up
Recovery is giving me my future back.

Recovery is my high school diploma.
Recovery is learning what love really is.
Recovery is 5 years clean.
Recovery is my wedding day.
Recovery is holding my first child.
Recovery is growing old with a man I love.
Recovery is a future.

Today I do not want to recover,
But I’ll try anyways
That is Recovery.

About The Author

          Just me trying my very best to recover
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For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.

Cynthia Occelli

Just like the seasons, people have the ability...

Just like the seasons, people have the ability to change (Photo credit: symphony of love)

 

Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe.

C. JoyBell C.

 

The more you hide your feelings, the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.

Unknown

 

The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment.

Eckhart Tolle

 

Pain can change you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad change. Take that pain and turn it into wisdom.

Unknown

Are You Challenged?

Are You Challenged? (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

 

If you can’t change the circumstances, change your perspective.

Unknown

 

Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.

Glenda Cloud

 

All great changes are preceded by chaos.

Deepak Chopra

 

In chaos, there is fertility.

Anais Nin

 

Life is a process of becoming. A combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.

Anais Nin

 

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.

Pema Chodron

 

Change is the only constant.

Heraclitus

changing fate

changing fate (Photo credit: CrazyFast)

 

 

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Today, as we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., let us remember that struggle is common to all, even though we are not always fighting the same fight. Whether you fight for justice in the outer world or fight for peace in the inner world, the words of those who have traveled a similar path of suffering can inspire us to never give up. So I share with you some quotes from the great man himself:

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/martin_luther_king_jr.html#bJZ8YODRHLiMc7RA.99

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Here is an inspiring story from Prevention Magazine:

What It Takes To Get Through Tough Times

How a little advanced gratitude can change everything
By Denise Foley

Gratitude changes everything

Gratitude changes everything (Photo credit: symphony of love)

When the editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey put together a list of things he was grateful for, his two Pulitzer Prize nominations didn’t make the cut. In fact, even he admits his gratitude inventory sounds a little crazy: his first job after college as a high school janitor; the recession that forced him into part-time work; a melanoma diagnosis; all the people who didn’t believe in him.

Every one of those terrible twists, he explains, was responsible for a blessing. That job led him to his future wife, the daughter of a fellow janitor; getting laid off gave him the time to launch a second career in book illustration and radio; and his cancer diagnosis spurred him to help save hundreds of lives by organizing a series of runs to raise melanoma awareness. And all those naysayers? Let’s just say they were the ill winds beneath his wings.

“A good analogy is if you’re canoeing downstream and you hit a rock, it can either sink you or push you in another direction,” says Ramsey. “If you choose the other direction, it’s a blessing.”

Ramsey is a prime example of what might be called advanced gratitude: the ability to identify and appreciate the bad events in your life because of what you’ve gained from them. It’s far from a rare experience. Studies have found that gratitude is a prevailing, if counterintuitive, emotion among breast cancer survivors, people with spinal cord injuries, and post-9/11 Americans.

Clearly, you don’t become grateful for difficulties overnight (and rarely in the throes), but once you do, you’re privy to some amazing alchemy that will allow you to heal what hurts and see the victory that’s often at the center of every seeming defeat. It also boosts what one leading expert calls your psychological immune system, and it may even physically alter your brain so that gratitude isn’t just something you feel occasionally but guides how you approach life.

And it all starts with making a habit of appreciating what you have, what you’ve lost, and what your life would be like if fate hadn’t nudged you this way or that. Here are three steps to work your way into advanced gratitude…Read more here..

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