A Grateful Heart Is A Joyful Heart

The Second Episode of my healHER blog

That Sunday it took every ounce of my will power to drag myself to Church. My whole body was hurting and on fire. For months I had been battling what I had finally self diagnosed as clinical depression, only to have it finally corroborated by two close friends who are psychiatrists.

My training in Chinese medicine, which calls attention to the importance our emotions play on our overall health, helped me understand that the excruciating physical pain I felt every hour of every day, and with the tiniest movement, was being caused by a blockage and or deficiency of some of my energetic channels.

The darkness into which my psique had submerged me, which stretched into weeks, and then into months, was causing me not only mental anguish, but also physical agony.

I was still strong enough to try to fight it. Despondency tending to lethargy was battling with my inner strength based on my faith. Faith in God who has promised all of us not to give us more than we can bear. Faith in myself, who have already survived so much in this mortal journey. Faith in my support group which consists of family and friends. Faith in my healing skills and knowledge.

I tested my hormones. I prayed and pondered. I sought help from my spiritual leaders, from the scriptures, from those I love and trust.

So, that Sunday the words I heard from my Stake President resonated with me.

He called attention to our failure to notice the little tender mercies, miracles and blessings that every day offers us, and be grateful for them. He invited us to keep a journal and every day write down seven to ten things we felt grateful for.

My depression which was caused by a hormonal imbalance, overwork and stress was quickly becoming incapacitating. But I decided to obey his invitation. Tentatively at first, because I was so numb to everything around me except my physical pain that it was difficult at first to see my blessings, I began every day to try and find something positive in my life and express gratitude for it.

Every day it was easier, and every day there were more things. Sooner than I thought it possible the list grew. As the list grew, I felt my burden lift and my mental fog dissolve. My energy increased, my positive outlook returned, and what I welcomed the most was that the more gratitude I allowed into my heart, the less physical pain I suffered. If I had needed convincing about what I already knew since I preach it to my patients every day, this evolution from darkness to health by changing negative emotions for a positive one would had made a believer out of me.

If you are suffering from depression seek help as soon as possible. There are many causes for it, as well as many ways to treat it. Do not lose hope. Do not isolate yourself. My health returned when my hormonal imbalance was treated and when I decided to follow my friend's invitation. An invitation I would not have heard if I had remained at home because I was in pain. Help will come to you from many sources if you look for it. Keep your mind open, keep yourself involved. Above all, hold on to all the positive you can see amid the darkness. As the light increases, the shadows

will dissipate. I know it because I lived it.

This is just my opinion...

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