Gratitude in the Burn Unit

For the past 6 months I’ve been practicing gratitude. Focusing on the positives in life. It’s been a transformative experience. Sure there’s lots of problems and challenges that pop up to test my patience. My auto-immune condition has flared up. I’ve had stressful projects at work and just a few days ago an event happened that is certainly stressful, but I can’t help but find joy and positives in the situation.

I burned myself when a hot coal lit gasoline I was pouring to start a fire. I got 2nd degree burns on both of my legs from knee to ankle and my arm — from my elbow to my wrist. It has been a painful and demoralizing experience. I’ve needed help with virtually every task — I’ve lost my independence for the time being.

2nd degree burns on my right arm and both legs covering 10% of my body.

I feel like if this happened to me a couple years ago, I would have fallen into a cycle of depression, but something’s changed. A switch has gone off in my brain. Maybe it’s because I’ve been meditating and running. Maybe it’s because I’ve been on my phone a little less. Maybe it’s because I’ve been focusing on the positives instead of drowning in the negatives.

I felt better by focusing on the positives — the nurses were incredibly friendly and helpful, my face didn’t get burned, I didn’t have 3rd degree burns, I lived fairly close to one of the best burn units in the country, and I just felt lucky — even though I was in the worst pain of my life.

There’s no reason to focus on the negatives, because there will always be something negative to focus on. In fact, I believe it’s harmful to dwell on the negatives. It’s easier to think about the negatives in life, so choose to look at what’s good around you. You’ll be amazed at how your mind will adapt and how much better you’ll feel.