Learning to be Grateful

Every Wednesday morning, Doc and I meet with a few patients for group therapy. Doc is the brains of the operation and I am there to provide comfort and comic relief. In other words, Doc and I know our roles and work well together for the good of those that we serve. We often go over different topics related to managing stress and this week I told Doc that with all the angry noise in our world, that maybe a good topic for this week would be about gratitude. She agreed.

Part of being a good group therapist is understanding yourself first, so I took some time to ponder the topic. I had to get honest with myself. Was I really grateful for what I have, or am I always looking for something more? It led me to the realization that I have a Milk Bone obsession. I also had to admit that I really never enjoy the one in my mouth because I am always scheming about how I can get Doc to give me another one. Even as a puppy, it didn’t take me long to figure out that if I went outside to use the bathroom, Doc would give me a Milk Bone as a reward. Now don’t tell Doc, but sometimes I act like I have to go out even when I don’t just to get a treat. Because I know Doc is watching me, I will even go so far as to pretend like I am doing my business. Now does that sound like grateful behavior? I think not.

When I finally confessed my sin to Doc after having this revelation she just looked at me and said,” Part of being grateful is learning to savor things in the moment Grover. How can you be fully grateful when you are going through all that drama just to get the one thing you want and then you don’t even enjoy it? ” she said thoughtfully. ” Good point.” I said, So what do you suggest?” ” Lets both start by slowing down, we both move too fast from one thing to another. Starting today, lets make a real effort to stop, notice, enjoy and prolong the positive experiences we are blessed with. There are opportunities every day to be thankful, even when we are going through challenging life events. It’s easy for us to get stuck in the trap of thinking that our happiness lies around the corner when in fact you can find happiness in everyday events.”

Doc was right, we both needed to regroup and refocus so we could pass this on to the people in our group. Doc has always taught me to try and lead by example so I will end with this affirmation “I am thankful for learning new life lessons with Doc by my side.”

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