Several years ago I had a stretch of months where I was having a really hard time. I had been feeling sick for a while and through a process of tests and doctor appointments I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was struggling with the idea of RA being a part of my life forever while at the same time attempting to be a mother to three (now four) young children and constantly feeling like I had the flu.
I went to bed one night feeling very sorry for myself. All the “why me” questions were stirring in my head and I was feeling angry at God for “giving” me this “burden”. As I laid in my bed I suddenly became acutely aware of my heart beat. This distracted me from my problems and for a few minutes I tried to be still in my mind and focus on the beating of my heart. This was a not a normal activity for me. I was suddenly filled with an immense sense of gratitude toward my heart. This little muscle, the size of my fist, was continuously squeezing, releasing, pumping, oxygenating, and it had been working perfectly and diligently for 28 years.
I had never given my heart much attention. But suddenly there I was, feeling such gratitude for the way it had supported and served me. I took a minute to tell my heart, and then God, thank you. God, of course, is the ultimate director of our beating hearts, but I have grown to believe that by thanking your body for doing the job it was divinely designed to do can have a huge impact on how it performs, resulting in how we feel . There are all sorts of studies these days that show how the words we speak not only to others, but to ourselves, have a direct and impactful effect on our bodies.
I still struggle with daily negative feelings toward my overweight, tired, and sickly body. But when I make an effort to fill myself with gratitude for the things my body does get right, I am able to move past my sadness and press forward full of love and joy!
Take a minute today to be mindful of your heart. Tell it thank you and it might just reply with a few extra years of work.
Photos for Foundation c/o Lauren Werkheiser Photography
Chablis is a military wife, mother of four, and nutrition enthusiast. She is constantly learning ways to better not only her own wellbeing, but that of her family. Chablis is a Step and Zumba instructor and she also practices Kundalini Yoga and daily meditation. Being a military wife has taught her resilience and faith as well as made her an expert cross-country mover.