GRATITUDE: THE MAGIC SWITCH TO HAPPINESS – Guest blog written: by Dar-Lyn Beard
Let’s talk briefly about energy. What I do know is energy has a positive and a negative. It’s on the batteries, plus on one end of the battery and a minus on the other. Two types of energy, positive and negative. I also don’t want to give the perception that one is necessarily better, they both can lead to a happier life. It all starts with your approach…. it starts with living with Gratitude!
It’s easy to be a happy, positive person when things are going great in life. And many times when things are going well, we take many things in life for granted. But living with gratitude will elevate your life and have an everlasting impact, especially when life takes a fork in the road, or worse, life has an accident.
So what is the key to my last statement? It’s life, a four-letter word that has a different meaning for everyone in the world. LIFE, probably the most debated word in human history. It’s usually focused on the meaning of life, which is debatably different for everyone that has ever discussed the meaning of life.
Life can fly by when things are good. Life can stand still when things aren’t so good. But life goes on. I’m sure all of you have had circumstances that relate. Adversity can hit at any time and in different circumstances, I’d like to share a story.
I don’t love you, I should never have married you, and you don’t make me happy were the hurtful words I heard from the father of my 3 children after 20 years of marriage. Talk about emotions of disbelief, anger, surprise, shock, hate, pity, and somewhat..relief all rolled into one. Why didn’t he say those things earlier in our marriage and not wait until we were older? I felt like an old dishrag that is used to be tossed out with the trash.
I was devastated! I had given my everything to this man…I supported him while he was going to law school. I was working full time at Finger Furniture Company as the Director of Credit during the day and then would go to his law office at night to help him get his new practice launched. And I was doing this while raising our 3 kids, basically on my own. I felt used, beaten down emotionally and worthless.
What does the DIVORCE word mean? How does it affect families? How does one overcome the emotions? How do you feel? How do you get your worth and self-respect back? How does one protect their kids emotionally? These were questions that I would soon find out the answers.
Here I was in my 40’s – 3 children – a good job – a nice home and lots of friends – good health.. and then the world began to crumble all around me. When the father of my children moved out, he immediately shut off utilities and stopped supporting the needs of the family. He even had the gall to ask for alimony since I supported him through law school and helped him start his law practice. I was now facing a house payment, 3 car payments, all the utility payments, insurance, groceries. Not only was I scared, but I was also angry, embarrassed, confused and did I say angry! If he was so unhappy and wanted out of the marriage, then just leave. But no, he couldn’t do that. He wanted to make me suffer, which in turn would make our children suffer. I’d made up my mind that was not going to happen.
The changes that happened to me during the 1 ½ year process that it took for the divorce to become final was interesting. I became a fighter, a protector, a provider, in other words, a mother. I was going to protect my children and myself and our future. My survival instincts came out. I vowed I would not let this life-changing situation get me down. I would overcome it and I would grow from it. I returned to the person I had been prior to marriage. I was confident, strong-willed and believed in myself.
By sharing my story today I hope you choose to live an elevated life. For me, this happened 16 years ago and I’ve never been this open to people to discuss this part of my life until I started living with gratitude. I shared this as an example of energy. Earlier I referenced energy as both positive and negative but, neither is good or bad. All that negative energy motivated me to keep going, find resolve and move on. One of those “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore” moments. A good thing right? Living an elevated life will enhance all your experiences, even when things aren’t going so great. Remember when I said it’s easy to be happy and positive when things are going well? That has a tendency to coincide with a period of taking life for granted. Everything is great and taking life for granted, similar to an oxymoron. Remember, earlier I mentioned meaning IN life.
As I dug deep into the 3 levels of Gratitude and truly applied them to my life I found I was living IN my life. I took more time with my family, more time to excel, more time for fun, even more, time just to take a nap. I came to the realization that life offered more if I just gave a little more effort (I know, effort and nap sound again like an oxymoron, but to each their own), my confidence grew and I made a more positive impact on my surroundings, especially at home. The one thing that has impacted me the most is finding that living with gratitude has decreased the level of stress I would normally feel when life’s fork in the road comes. Living with gratitude has elevated my life, and in turn, the positive approach has elevated everyone around me.
Gratitude is the magic switch between positivity and negativity (energy) and looking at LIFE with a feeling of Abundance or Lack! I choose Abundance! Keep your holidays upbeat. If you’re struggling with not feeling grateful or feel a “lack of gratitude” in your life, then you need a shift, a Gratishift™.
Sometimes our lives are busy, hectic and filled with material possessions, clutter, or an overabundance. I invite you to stop for a moment. Take time to reflect on: Self, Time, Relationships, Career, Love, Health, and Spirituality.
Written by Guest Blogger: Dar-Lyn Beard