Gratitude is one of the cornerstones of Christianity. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) In the midst of everything we want, we often forget to be thankful for what we already have. Aside from “I’m grateful to have woken up the morning” (which is no small thing) there are so many blessings in life that are over looked. Make it a point to see these things, and act on them. Changing your attitude may be no small feat but it can be done. You can accomplish a lot just by turning your head. And you’ll be a much happier person in the end for it.
Gratitude for the big things.
We have a slow remodel going on in our house. Really slow. There has been something in pieces in my house since we bought it. 12 years ago. There are currently 7 projects, off the top of my head, that need work. (I’ve changed that number 3 times just now because I keep thinking of more things.) It’s like a never ending cycle of always being in the middle of something. And it’s annoying. But.
There’s a roof over the heads of my family.
We don’t pay rent.
No waiting around on a landlord if something breaks.
We can expand.
The ability and resources to remodel.
That’s just one example. Your job annoys you? You have a job. Bills can be paid. You have the capability to work. I’m not saying you have to accept where you are and stay there. Ambition is not a bad thing; but be grateful for where you are too.
Gratitude for the small things.
In an effort to remember that I recently dyed strips of my hair purple. This year has been hard on my family in many ways. There have been goings on that made me question a lot of things. People I thought I knew. Ideals I thought I had. Figuring out how to accept the unacceptable. I was put in a place to make a choice I didn’t want to make. But I had to. Eventually I did and sacrificed a relationship I thought would always be there. As a result, I defaulted to anger. I was angry about everything and, for a time, there was no making me happy. There was only trying to keep me from being even angrier. I had to make the conscience effort to pull myself out of that. My kids didn’t deserve that mother and my husband didn’t deserve that wife.
I went to church and the gym more consistently. My aunt found a Christian based program (Celebrate Recovery if you’re looking for something similar) to work through it. I added more church in my life and reached out to others. As with most things consistency was key. There were days I just didn’t want to. Nevertheless, I did. As so often happens in life, as soon as I had a better handle on that- something else came up. I am grateful I was already working the steps. Look to the small things.
The color purple.
We live in a world that has peacocks.
A deep breath.
Gratitude for others.
Even the ones who annoy you. They often teach us things about ourselves that we may have never looked at before. Or they could give you new things to be grateful for. I know a woman who thinks everything is a THING. I am grateful to have actually been through real life problems. Everything is not a THING and I know that because of real life experiences. Therefore, I have less stress in my life. Further, I understand that her stress is very real. As a result of knowing her I am less dismissive of other people.
Of course, be grateful for the obvious people too.
Gratitude is more than a word.
It’s a way to live your life. You can focus on your wants and what you don’t have. Or you can focus on what you do have. It’s all in which direction you choose to look. I still remember the days I prayed for every thing that I have. God is good to us in so many ways that are taken for granted. Living a life in gratitude is the direct counter to living a life of entitlement. I choose to be grateful for all things. Even the hard ones.