Did you know you can’t feel fear and gratitude at the same time?

It’s true.
Try it.
If you are feeling the deep kind of gratitude… the kind that you feel deep inside… you can’t simultaneously feel fear.
This is such good information!
What I do is store up the really deeply grateful events I have had in my life.
Then I pull them out when I am feeling really scared.  Because when I feel afraid, I find it hard to come up with something on the spot that I feel grateful for.
It can’t be like the kind of gratitude that you feel when you say grace after a meal.
That perfunctory kind of gratitude won’t trump fear.
Here are a few I pull from:
When our midwife, Q, was able to keep me from having a C section by working with me until we found one position I could lay in that wouldn’t make my baby’s heart rate drop. We were so grateful, she had to stop us from naming our daughter “Q.”
When my son was in the ER at the age of 10 with severe abdominal pain and the nurses were putting in an IV and prepping him for surgery before he’d even seen a doctor, and I called my friend Tammy and she told me exactly what to do.
When I learned I had gestational diabetes and was told I had to learn to inject myself with insulin before I could leave the next doctor’s visit. Normally I was so upset by shots that I would have spontaneous nosebleeds.  That day my friend Stephanie took me into the bathroom of our office and put the needle in my hand and gently pushed my hand so the needle went into her stomach She wanted me to practice on her before I had to inject myself. (She was diabetic. And awesome.)
The three people I knew who came to my father’s funeral. I am still so very thankful.
So many people have been deeply kind to me.
I keep a bean pot with tiny scraps of paper in it.  Each time I have an experience in which I feel gratitude, I write it down and put it in the pot. I try to include enough detail so it takes me back to that experience strongly enough to not just remember it, but also feel it in my body.
Through this practice, I am getting better at feeling spontaneous gratitude. Through practice I can call on the emotion of thanks much more easily than I used to.
In the middle of the night, when I contemplate whether my daughter will ever be well again, or wonder if my son’s latest concussion will leave him with lasting effects, I pull out my bean pot and feel grateful instead.
There is often fear when your child gets ready to go to college.
Get ready now.
Practice counting your blessings.
It’s a great feeling to feel.
And that feeling is at your fingertips.

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