The past month and a half was probably the worst of my entire life. The beginning of August found my job under the threat of elimination due to budget shortfalls and a failing economy. Worst of all, a decision wouldn't be rendered about my position until the end of September. This meant that everyday, every hour, every minute for over a month I was faced with living in a severe state of uncertainty. I was literally paralyzed with fear about the possible outcomes. What would I do, where would I go, where is the money going to come from were all questions that seared themselves into my brain. Needless to say it was devestating news and ultimately shook my life to its core.
I decided it was important for me to maintain my dignity and not fall into a panic mode. The only way I could maintain some sense of decorum and continue functioning on a daily basis was to try and practice gratitude. Gratitude that for the time being I had a job, gratitude that my wife was awesomely supportive. The key however was practice. I found it's not in my nature to be grateful. I tend not to think about all that I have and all that I am and take things in my life for granted.
There is a kernel of truth in cliches. "Practice makes Perfect" comes to mind. I am not perfect and have given up the idea that I can be. I only have the ability to be perfectly me. However, I've found that for me to get to that place, I have to practice and I practiced gratitude. More times than not, I failed in this practice. Not always but sometimes. Those times when I did remember to be grateful, I found it helped banish my fear and allowed me to reign in my anxiety.
Gratitude and fear cannot occupy the same place in our psyche. There is only room for one feeling at a time. Through pratice I discovered I could replace the fear with gratitude.
Today, my job has been spared and I'm grateful. Through this gratefullness I have a deeper appreciation for those things in my life from which I take security.
The practice of being grateful helped me through a terrible time. If it worked for me, it can work for anyone. Practice being grateful and see what happens in your own life.