gratitude n. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness
This month, we would like to focus on the feeling of gratitude. We are heading into the holiday season, which can be very positive for some and very difficult for others. At the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center, we hope that all find the peace that they need and spend time with those who bring them joy.
In focusing on gratitude, I appreciate the two main concepts that are in the definition—“thankful” and “kindness.” Here at the VSRC, we are so very thankful for all the many partners that helped our community honor the fifth remembrance of Route 91. The achievements we witnessed could not have happened without the kindness of all the volunteers, staff, community partners, and Routers themselves. We have been so very honored by all the participation from the community and the outpouring of love and support. We are truly in a place of gratitude for all.
Grateful for Growth
When I think of gratitude, I reflect on the amazing strength, growth, and change that I get to experience with those who I serve as a therapist. I also think of the concept of posttraumatic growth. Posttraumatic growth is defined as positive psychological change resulting from a struggle with traumatic or highly challenging life circumstances. Experiencing a traumatic event can have a transformational role in personality among certain individuals and facilitate growth.
We have seen folks grow and change in amazing ways—starting families, going back to school, spending more time with their loved ones, moving to a desired destination, and changing careers. We all know that time is very precious, and we can make the most of that time by showing and sharing that gratitude along our journey. I know that I am truly thankful for being able to witness the growth journey for so many!
We also want to focus on the voices of some of our Routers, allowing them to share with all of us what “gratitude” means to them and what they are thankful for.
A Family Journey of Gratitude
Jennifer Schuette, a member of our Route Family, shared with the VSRC what she feels gratitude for:
“After going through the horrific night of 1 October, my daughter and I spent a year questioning why and how we survived that night. How much good could possibly come from speaking with a counselor? There was a fear of finding a counselor who would be quick to prescribe medication to suppress the various feelings one may go through at any given minute of the day. I spent the following months attending various events tied to 1 October. I went to a seminar held for first responders where I met Terri Keener from the VSRC. Time passed and I ended up running into Terri again at the one-year reunion. My daughter and I were both at a point in our lives where we felt it was time to seek counseling.
“We are truly thankful to the VSRC for providing the resources necessary to assist us with finding the much-needed counseling. We are thankful to our counselor for providing us the mechanisms to cope with the various emotions we experience, especially as we approach each anniversary. I try to remind myself that each day is a blessing, and I’m thankful for the friendships that have been made from such a tragic experience and the survivors who spend the time and energy to put together annual gatherings. Every year we take the time to remember lives lost that night and honor their memory by paying it forward. I like to be the good in this world and remind myself that the good by far outweighs the bad.”
What’s So Great About Being Grateful?
Be sure to sign up for our free, online workshop about gratitude on Thursday, December 1. In “What’s So Great About Being Grateful?”, Catherine and Elizabeth Scherwenka will give a firsthand look at all of the mental and physical benefits of gratitude for yourself and others around you. Click here to learn more or register.
Remember to visit the Calendar page of our website for details about additional workshops, support groups, integrative services, and other events available online and in-person for you and those you love.