HAve a heart of Gratitiude
I was convicted recently. After two separate conversations on the same day, my ears were finally opened to a message I’ve been resistant to hear.
Here’s the truth that struck me and hit home. I’m allowing my current circumstances to affect my health and slow my healing. By dwelling on all that is wrong, I’m adding to my physical and emotional stress.
There is much I can’t control about my mold exposure, what it’s done to my health and my current life circumstance, but I CAN control my thoughts about it. I CAN choose to find things to be grateful for.
Take Captive every thought.
I believe when God tells us to take captive every thought and make it obedient to him, he’s not just talking about the “bad” ones, the anxious ones, the defeated ones, etc.., but also the pleasant ones, grateful ones, happy ones, creative ones. It’s a surrender of ALL the thoughts in our head. He wants us to steward them for his purpose and glory. I’m pretty sure I have not been doing that very well. 😢
But, I also believe that because we are wonderfully complex human beings made by a creative God, there’s more to it than that.
Here’s what I mean.
With thoughts come emotions. We have thoughts and then we create emotions tied to those thoughts. Emotions that we don’t take captive and deal with can be stored in the body. For example, anger is stored in the liver. Left unchecked, it can lead to stress, inflammation and disease. You do yourself a diservice by under-estimating the power of your thoughts. You cannot separate your mind and body from each other. They are intricately woven together and one affects the other.
What I find fascinating is that, according to Carolyn Mein in, D. C. in Releasing Emotional Pattern With Essential Oils, studies have been done to show "the amygdala gland (the gland in the limbic system of the brain that stores and releases trauma in the body) doesn't repsond to sound, sight, or touch. It only releases emotional trauma through the sense of smell. The sense of smell is the only one of our five senses directly connected to the emotional seat of our brain." God created our body to need aroma therapy! It can have a profound affect on our emotions and send messages to the rest of our body and support us physically, mentally and emotionally.
So, If I want to heal physically, I must also address the unhealthy thoughts I’m dwelling on and replace them with grateful ones. And, if you know me at all, it shouldn’t surprise you that one of first things I grab to help me let go of the stress and turn my thoughts around is an essential oil. Believe it or not, I actually have one called Gratitude! How perfect is that? All I have to do is breath it in and Voila! A dose of gratitude and waves of thanksgiving will wash over me. End of story. Problem solved.
Okay, okay, I know. You're right. It's not that easy. I'm exaggerating, of course. But, by using the Gratitude blend, I am taking a moment to breathe in and focus. I'm taking a moment to intentionally recall my many blessings and I'm allowing the power of aromatherapy to bring to mind and unlock the negative emotions that are holding me back.
Why is it called Gratitude?
This essential oil blend consists of multiple essential oil singles: balsam fir, frankincense, myrrh, ylang ylang, coriander, bergamot, northern lights black spruce, vetiver and geranium. These oils were strategically combined to be soothing to the body, heart and mind. When the body is relaxed, it is more open to receive blessings. Think about it, when your mind is consumed with worry and you’re thinking of all the things you need to do, or can't do, when you're anxious and fearful, you’re not going to be in a place to be grateful. Am I right?
So, will you join me in breathing some Gratitude? Will you put a drop in your hand and breathe in deeply as you ask the Lord to give you grateful heart? I once read a book called One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. What I took away from this book and what has had a lasting impact on my life, were the words "Joy is always possible because thanksgiving is always possible." There's a lot more to that statement, but the truth here is that true joy comes from a grateful heart.
So, what are you thankful for today? For what blessings can you give thanks? I'd love for you to say hi and share them with me. In doing so, maybe we can find a little joy together.
If you want to dig deeper into the emotions and essential oils, here are a two resources: One is a recorded zoom call for the audio learner and the other is more specific to the visual learner who would rather read.