A Practice in Gratitude
We can all claim to be grateful, and full of gratitude for the many blessings in our life. Although it might sound cliche, there are so many reasons and ways we can feel gratitude for all that we have, all that we are, all that we are able to be. When the sun is out, the birds are chirping, us and our loved ones are healthy, and work is great, gratitude seems to be easy to come by. However, the real practice of gratitude gets tested when the times are perceived as tough. Loss of a loved one, issues at work, poor health, bad weather… It is in these times, and during these scenarios, that our practice in gratitude is tested. How can we be grateful, and thankful for all of our blessings, when everything around us seems to be falling apart? Although I cannot give you a direct pathway to navigating this practice, I can relay my personal practice to you, and hopefully provide you with the insight to persevere, and find the good in what might be perceived as bad.
When times are challenging, it tends to be the human experience to fall into a negative head space. How can this be happening to me? Why does this always happen to me? These tend to me the harrowing cries from our mouths, and to our loved ones. As a practice in mindfulness, take a breath, and a moment to step back from the situation in front of you. Yes, bad things do happen. They happen to everyone, and this is part of what makes our lives on Earth an opportunity for growth and development. If we can look at our lives as a constant flow of peaks and valleys, these times would be considered the valleys. But what if during these valley times, we grow the most? What if we can transform our grief and sadness, into lessons on love and grace? Nothing can make us feel more love, than the loss of love. Nothing can make us more grateful for our health, than sickness. These valleys in our life are an opportunity to be present, an opportunity for growth, and an opportunity to embrace the inevitable change that is life.
Don’t let the day to day fool you. We live in a world, a universe, that is in a constant state of change. We also live in a universe that provides us with everything that we need to embrace life, enjoy life, and accept everything that happens to us as Divine grace. We are made perfectly, at the most perfect time, and to go through the most perfect set of circumstances to challenge us to grow and evolve into the best version of our selves.
So next time you are feeling blue, or as the world is against you, think about the many ways you can embrace the situation that is upon you, as an opportunity to learn and grow. Seeing the world through the eyes of gratitude is an automatic shift in perspective. Living a life, where your heart bursts with gratitude, not only changes your life for the better, but it impacts those around you on a molecular level. You are literally in a perpetual state of offering love and happiness wherever you may roam.