We just celebrated Thanksgiving in the United States, and I am feeling a lot of gratitude that I am still in the land of the living this holiday season.
What a blessing each day and each breath is!
Of course, keeping it real, I wish I didn’t have pulmonary fibrosis, and I wish I wasn’t so aware that my life will be shortened because of it. At the same time, this reality has caused me to focus on what matters, and to make wise decisions about how I spend my energy and time.
A friend shared this amazing six-minute video with me, and I am so touched by its message of the power of gratitude in our lives. Please watch; it is worth your precious time. I don’t want to influence your experience, so please watch it before you continue reading this column.
I took away a lot from this video:
- Each day we have is not just another day; each day is a gift.
- Live each day as if it is your first; live each day as if it is your last.
- Look around at God’s beauty. It is all around … in nature, in weather, in people. Look at the beauty and wonder all around.
- Look at each person you meet who has a unique, important story; you are one of those people.
- Appreciate and have gratitude for the gifts all around you. Open your heart to them and let them flow through you.
- Let everyone you meet today be blessed by you — your eyes, your smile, your touch, and your presence. Let the gratitude you have overflow into blessings all around you.
This video touched me deeply
It helps me be aware of the sacredness and importance of each moment and each day I have. It helps counter what I am mostly aware of, which is all the days I won’t have.
It helps give purpose to each encounter I have with others. I want my moments to be about spreading love, comfort and encouragement to those who God brings across my path.
It helps counter negative thinking that my best years are gone … maybe they aren’t. Maybe I still have a lot to experience and to give to my family, friends and others. Maybe I have a chance to have a greater impact in others’ lives because of what I’m going through.
I’m sharing from a place of gratitude because that is where I am in this process of adjusting to the reality of having pulmonary fibrosis. I was diagnosed 2½ years ago. I’m slowly getting worse and I’m not in denial. Because it has been a while since diagnosis, I’m able to step back and have this perspective — at least today.
If you are recently diagnosed, or experiencing a lot of pain, or are processing a recent downturn, you may be understandably overwhelmed by grief.
Trying to have gratitude about anything may be impossible now. That is normal; it’s part of the process. Let yourself be where you are, and be kind to yourself about wherever that is.
Just know that sometime, either now or in the future, you may be able to savor the good.
Because of your diagnosis you may be able to enjoy the good moments in your life at a deeper level than others. My kind encouragement to you is this: You matter. What you are going through matters, and every day and every breath you have before you is, like you, a precious gift.
I hope you were blessed by this video, and I would love to hear how you were touched. Please leave a comment and share on social media so others may benefit.
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.