Ah, gratitude. In my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, the verse for gratitude is: “When seen with eyes that appreciate, everything in and around me becomes more pleasing, more beautiful.”
And it’s true. The more you express appreciation for things around you and for things going on in your life, the better you will feel about everything.
You scoff. I know that feeling. Years ago, when I was going to a support group to help with remaining sober, the topic of discussion was gratitude for five meetings in a row. I was disgusted, as I could not feel gratitude for the way my life was going, nor for past experiences.
But I did what was suggested, which was to make a list every day of ten things for which I was grateful. I did this begrudgingly, with anger. I choked on my words…
Then one day, things began to change. I was feeling so much love for my life, the people in it, and my experiences, that I began to feel gratitude for them all. My past painful experiences, after all, had made me into the sensitive and compassionate person I am today, allowing me to have empathy for those who endure what I endured.
Speaking about my past and how I have healed from it can be useful to others. That is the basis for my gratitude when I think of past painful situations. That holds true in current day also, which is what allows me to be grateful for my past, just as it happened.
In present day, you can consciously take yourself to gratitude. For example, I recently got a jury summons and it conflicts with my schedule. Rather than get angry for the inconvenience, I take note that they allow you to change your date of appearance, and this is something for which I am grateful. I changed my day without grudge for having to serve.
At a street fair over the weekend, I sold one book. Rather than being bummed that I did not sell more, I choose the attitude of gratitude for the chance to share my book with that one woman and her 19 year old special needs son.
Yes, gratitude is a choice you make, over each and every occurrence throughout the day. If you choose gratitude as a way of life, life becomes easier, more beautiful. The end result is the feeling of being soothed. Life flows easily when one chooses gratitude as a way of life.
What are the things in your life today for which you are grateful?