So I’ve decided that it would be helpful to have a regular focus word or phrase. Since our goal is to become stronger, better, more intentional, it makes sense to highlight character traits we’d like to embody. With that in mind, let’s start this Thanksgiving week with an “attitude of gratitude.”
There’s been much talk the past few years about the power of gratitude. It seems kinda benign and wimpy, doesn’t it? The very opposite of strength. After all, if we’re grateful for something, doesn’t it somehow put us in a dependent position? Don’t we now need that thing/person for which we’re grateful?
Sometimes I think about how backward our culture can be. It’s fashionable to adopt an air of boredom or sophisticated ennui with the entire world. Gratitude doesn’t fit much with that image.
The paradox of gratitude is that, the more grateful we are, the less needy we feel. When we feel gratitude for even the smallest of blessings, we become aware of the endless riches that surround us.
Try it right now. (This is especially good when we’re having a rotten day and feel like the world is against us.) You don’t even need to write anything down.
Today I’m grateful for my health. I’m thankful that I belong to a big, messy, imperfect loving family. Food is so abundant that I struggle with not eating. Good healthcare is just down the street and at the touch of a button on my phone. I have steady work that pays the bills and good coworkers that treat me well. My car runs. I’m warm. My cats aren’t fighting. I don’t have a headache. I have all my teeth.
This list is a drop in the bucket.
It’s good to lay a foundation based on gratitude. It puts us in a “right” place, one of focusing on good, on abundance, on the endless ways that we’re cared for by those around us and the God that we understand.
When we start to feel anxious about the crazy road ahead of us and the unknown path that’s still unlit, we can feel peace when counting all the good that surrounds and enfolds us.
It’s easy to bitch, gripe, complain and basically list all the awful things in life. Sometimes life just stinks, there’s no denying it.
But it’s just as easy – and feels a whole lot better – to focus on what’s working. We see what we focus on. And what we focus on, we bring into our lives.
Love and light for your journey –