Life on Life’s Terms will return on Monday, November 28th. In the meantime, let me suggest the following gratitude exercise from Changing Addictive Thinking. (If you’d like a copy of Changing Addictive Thinking please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Draw a stick figure holding a flag. Near the top of the head, list three favorite memories, being grateful you have the memory to do so. Many people with dementia, other brain diseases, or head trauma cannot.
If you have been blessed with sight, list your three favorites. Likewise, if you can hear, list your three favorite sounds next to the stick figure’s ears. By the figure’s nose, list three favorite smells.
If you had to order three things for your last meal, what would they be? List them next to the figure’s mouth.
Despite our efforts to poison our bodies with poor diets, and alcohol and other drugs, many of our organs still work. List why you’re grateful for each organ. For example: “My lungs still work and I can draw a deep breath. My stomach still works, so I can enjoy my meals. My liver still works, so I don’t have to be on dialysis.”
List the activities that you can still enjoy, or you might someday try. Don’t limit yourself to the practical or commonplace.
Now, look at the stick figure. Savor the things you have listed.
In the flag, write a list of things you have to accept. This is your surrender flag. Be grateful you are able to accept and move on.