Unless we have forgiveness in our hearts, we cannot foster gratitude. So ask yourself these questions: Do you have people in your life whose actions and words anger you? Are you dependent on these people? Are you irritated by current events? These are poisonous thoughts to your own soul. These are thoughts that can lead to depression, if you’re not already there.


You can turn your life around. It takes a desire and willpower to do this. The benefits of developing an attitude of gratitude are well known by now. Are you negative from the get-go and think you can’t do it? If you say you can’t, it’s okay. But if you say you can, get excited! You’ve just taken the first step. A gratitude journal is what you can start with. Resolve to write in it every day. Think on what you were grateful for that day and write it down. The magic in this is seeing the progression from your first entry months later.


I am assuming you have read my previous blogs. If you are still feeling depressed, there are so many tools out there to help pull you out of it. Focus on yourself. Be grateful you can read. Be careful with what you choose to read. Be grateful you have sight. Be grateful you have the time to pursue what will be a paradigm shift for yourself. This shift involves you actively altering the thought patterns of your brain. You can do it! Truly, if I did it, you can. Throw out hatred, anger, impatience, confusion, mindlessness, misjudgment, intolerance, and fear.


If any of these are a part of your thinking today, the following probably are the contributing factors:

  1. You were taught this form of thinking.
  2. You are genetically predisposed (generational) to this form of thinking.
  3. Diet: fatigue will have you go to convenience foods; these are usually processed foods and much of these add toxins to your body, and especially your brain.
  4. Your social environment: you are directly affected by your surroundings.


When I was six years old, I was hit with a life change that I did not cope with. I went from having a sunny disposition to a severe depression with PTSD. Going to professionals for this was not on my parents’ radar. My father was our doctor so our health care was in-house. My father’s brother had committed suicide when Oom Piet Hein was thirty-one. Not once did I ever hear my father talk about this painful event. I’ll go into a greater reflection on this in Enter Stage Right.


From 1956 to 2007, I had waves of suicidal thinking. I’m not articulate enough to express my profound gratitude. I finally have no more of these tormenting thoughts. I just want you to know that you have a powerful mind that can do more than you ever thought possible. Give it a chance. Google can be used to take you to your next steps. And stay focused! Perseverance is a key to victory! Focus especially on loving yourself. I am speculating that this is the emotion that is most likely, mankind’s greatest lack.


Therefore, focus on abundance. What is abundant in your life? Be grateful for this abundance. Even if this is not exactly what you wanted, still be grateful, for it would give you a bellyache for laughing. It’s ironic because I am suggesting that you be grateful for it. Move on.


Let people discover for themselves what their imperfections are. Strangely enough, you will discover that this will increase your sense of gratitude! Be authentic. We are human. We are allowed to be imperfect. Love others, and speak your truth quietly and clearly. Do not judge. The level of faith that you have and what others have is personal. Everyone is allowed to believe and follow their beliefs. Whatever you conceive Him to be, be righteous in His eyes. Look up righteousness and work on it. All these efforts contribute to a greater sense of gratitude.


Rob and I have three children. One is an atheist, one is an agnostic, and one is Catholic. You are free to choose. Let no one tell you that you have the wrong faith. You have the freedom to allow thoughts of abundance or thoughts of a lack thereof, to go round and round in your thinking. Choose abundance. Choose power words to express your positive emotions (even to yourself), and kick out other thoughts. The core of our laws, worldwide, is meant to be the Ten Commandments—the laws of God.


You can develop a routine of fostering gratitude. Think on how you can do this. Our son, on some family occasions, lets each person at the dinner table share three things they are grateful for. Atheism or agnosticism does not stop you from being a righteous person. Personally, I am very grateful that we have these Ten Commandments. I love God, my Father, with all my heart and soul. I know He loves me and He is with me always. Now don’t judge me for my faith. Just choose your own, and what you choose today is not written in stone. You are allowed to change your mind.


Takeaway tip: When gratitude is not in your life today, make a point of putting it there. You can do it. You’ll be grateful you did.


Next week, I’ll write on fighting negative thoughts, just to bring the gratitude message home.


My book called Exit Stage Left offers more of my insights on this topic. Please reach out to me via FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads if you ever need someone to talk to.




Tilly Dunn


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