“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.”
John F. Kennedy
Gratitude has been continually on my mind lately. Not just with Thanksgiving around the corner, but with all the anxiety and uncertainty in the world, gratitude has been my most powerful tool for staying positive. This morning a post I wrote three years ago today about my daughter Fiona showed up in my Facebook feed and reminded me of just how powerful gratitude is.
The post read:
Requesting love, light, healing energy, and prayers for my sweet Fiona who has been suffering with the worst pain she has experienced in the last three years with this chronic daily migraine. She was barely able to sleep last night as a result and is feeling desperate. We both are to be honest. This weekend is three years to the day that her migraine started. We are so deeply grateful for your love and support.
Having a perspective of time is so helpful in deepening gratitude. That incredibly challenging time seems like a lifetime ago and yet Fiona has only been healthy for the past two years. After a lifetime of chronic health challenges, two years is such a short time indeed. On Fiona’s 21st birthday last month I was overflowing with gratitude because I knew what a miracle it was that she was alive and thriving!
The amazing thing is that if you met Fiona today, you would have no idea she spent most of her life coping with epilepsy and struggling with chronic pain that so often left her disempowered and limited in her ability to engage in life.
I am grateful that not only did Fiona turn 21, but that she transformed her pain and suffering into empowerment, grace and compassion. She is a remarkable young women who lights up a room with her love, joy and kindness and lives from an open hearted gratitude for life that is contagious.
I am so deeply grateful for my daughter, all she has taught me and the amazing healing journey we have been on together that I even have the word “gratitude” tattooed on my left foot!
The idea of a tattoo was all Fiona’s as she had been fascinated by tattoos and was so excited to finally get one of her own when she turned 18. As I sat in Highland Ink Tattoo Studio watching Fiona get her tattoo, I was overcome with such profound love and gratitude for her that I decided it was time to place what is in my heart on my foot!
The process of getting the tattoo was incredibly painful and a lovely metaphor for how difficult it had been to watch Fiona suffer all her life. But this time I was the one in physical pain while my daughter held my hand, comforted me and told me she believed in me and knew I could do it!
This was such a sweet experience and provided me with another opportunity to feel deeply grateful! Every time I see the word “gratitude” on my foot it reminds me that I am grounded in gratitude!
I believe that my greatest strength and coping strategy all these years with Fiona has been gratitude. I have understood for most of her life what a blessing it has been to parent my greatest teacher and how grateful I am for all of the lessons I have learned as a result. The greatest lessons – the need to self-nurture and cultivate peace and joy – have inspired the focus of my business and my message to the world.
So thinking about your own life, what one word would most represent you?
What word would so reflect your authenticity that you would place it permanently on your body?
May those qualities which you value and hold dear inspire you to live fully in the present moment and be grounded in gratitude for your life and may you nurture peace in the world from the inside out!
Sending you so much peace, love and gratitude,
Kelley Grimes, M.S.W.
Counselor, Author & Speaker
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Join the discussion 20 Comments
Right now I think the word “blessed,” along with “gratitude” pretty much sums up where I am right now. Sp happy for your daughter’s recovery.
Barb I love your words blessed and gratitude! Thank you so much for sharing and for your kind words about my daughter!
Awww, your post touched my heart so deeply! Your daughter is such a wonderful inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing. Xoxo
Thank you so much Natasha! My daughter inspires me every day and I am so incredibly grateful you caught a glimpse of that today! Sending you so much love and gratitude!
What a beautiful post Kelley and I am glad to hear that your daughter is thriving. Gratitude has completely changed my life and opened the door to experience life as a gift instead of a burden. And i have a tattoo as well, of a lynx.
Rachel thank you so much! What a blessing gratitude is as it indeed opens doors to experiencing life as a gift! I would love to know what symbolism and meaning you give to the lynx and am deeply grateful for your lovely comment!
What a timely reminder to be thankful for all that is good in our lives. We too are so grateful for the health of our daughter… three years and counting for us. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family. My family is so very grateful to YOU Kelley!
Thank you so much Elizabeth! I am so thrilled your daughter is doing so well! Happy Thanksgiving to you too and I am so grateful for your family and your very kind words!
Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your story! I am joining you in gratitude for my daughters and family too.
I love that you are joining me in your gratitude for your daughters and your family Lira! I am so grateful for your kind comment!
Beautiful post Kelley! Thanks for sharing your experience and your learnings. My heart goes out to your special daughter Fiona. May she continue to live a pain-free, healthy, happy and fulfilling life.
Thank you so much Pamela! I am deeply grateful for your beautiful aspirations for my daughter and your lovely comment!
I could not agree more <3
Thank you so much Susan!
What a beautiful story, Kelley. You must smile fondly whenever you look at the tattoo on your foot 🙂
Thank you so much Lea! I am smiling fondly right now looking at my foot! I am grateful for your comment.
Poignantly powerful questions my friend, “So thinking about your own life, what one word would most represent you? What word would so reflect your authenticity that you would place it permanently on your body?”
My one word: FEARLESS. Who else leaves everything to teach on a Caribbean island and adopt a 10-year old child as a single mom at 45?
(I’m going to incorporate them into one of my Divine Dialogue Writing Circles as prompts and of course will give you creds.)
And your story….gorgeous. Just gorgeous. xo L
Wow you certainly are fearless Lore! What an amazing act of self-nurturing to follow your heart! I love that you are going to incorporate my reflective questions into your writing prompts and I am deeply grateful for your very kind words. Thank you so much!
Your post touched my heart so much Kelley and I love your tattoo as I do you xo
Thank you so much Debra! I am so grateful for your kinds words and I love you too!