A woman who works in healthcare wanted to start off 2021in gratitude as she had done in previous years. This year however, she said she was having difficulty being grateful and listed the pandemic as the overarching reason. Specifically it was the number of sick, the number of deceased, her fatigue, and the fatigue of her colleagues that were holding her gratitude hostage.

I started by asking her to do simple math; the entire population of the United States less the number of deceased. The answer was to be our starting point. Bottom line: there were a lot more of us still alive. From there I asked her to join me in picturing the deceased as they claimed their spot in heaven and shared with her how I saw them. She joined me as I described seeing them in a place where they were equals among kings and celebrities. I saw them talking to their favorite historical figures and enjoying feasts with their ancestors as they admired the calm, pristine beauty of creation that surrounded them. Perhaps they walked among green trees on majestic mountains. Perhaps they splashed about merrily in clear rivers or joyfully frolicked among multi-colored flowers with friends, new and old. At this point she joined me in contributing to the vision and together we saw them soaking up sunshine and playing with butterflies. We saw them speaking to the supreme Creator face-to-face on behalf of the ones they knew on earth, asking that the best be sent their way. In short, we saw them enjoying the ultimate of all freedoms – one that each one of us alive will also know sooner or later, and suddenly their joy was our joy.

From there, we spoke about the sick. I asked her to step away and see the afflicted from a distance as if she was a visitor on this planet where she was seeing the sick being cared for, for the very first time. I asked her to list in detail, however minuscule, what she found in her maiden voyage to the hospitals of earth. As she listed the many details from the cleanliness of the hospitals to the life-saving technology all around, I asked her if she felt any sense of gratitude that the sick were in such good hands. She found that easy to do. From there I asked if she could see the quality and pace of human evolution during these times. No more are the multitudes of patients just another ‘busy day at work’ for a healthcare professional. By her own admission, each patient was being cared for more than just medically. The situation was compelling caretakers such as herself and her colleagues to step into the shoes of family members and provide emotional care, because their family cannot be close this time around. On the flip side, the situation was compelling patients to trust and love their healthcare workers without reservation seeing them as no less than indispensable family. In other words each was being raised to a higher calling, to be more than they had ever been before, and without exception each one of them was stepping up. I asked her if she knew of any other time when she saw such rapid and inestimable growth in the entire human population all at once. Not surprisingly, she said this was a first. What is more, she found herself grateful to be a witness to it.

Finally for the issue of burnout (or fatigue as she put it) I started by impressing upon her that she comfort herself at regular (shorter) intervals and not wait until she needed a break. Just as she comforted her patients and her co-workers, I asked her to remember her responsibility towards her own body and mind. Once self-care was in place (and only then) I asked her if she could find gratitude in the fact that her fatigue was due to hard work rather than a sickness; that her body and mind were demonstrating to her the perfection that they are and their incredible capacity to be more; that for those sick or dying she was among those selected to be the bridge of comfort between man and his Maker. By that definition alone her own Maker must think highly of her.

At this point her I asked her what she was thinking. “Gratitude” she replied. “I feel deep gratitude.”

2021 is going to be a great year. For those of us that can find gratitude, it is a given.

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