“Gratitude is something of which none of us can give too much. For on the smiles, the thanks we give, our little gestures of appreciation, our neighbours build their philosophy of life.”
~ A. J. Cronin
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Gratitude is a choice, an attitude, and a perspective.
All of us have difficult things to go through and overcome. Difficulty is not relative – we cannot argue that our ‘hard’ is ‘harder’ than another person’s ‘hard’ because, though in the grand scope of world sufferings one person might have an easier time than another, to each of us our struggle is just as real and as difficult as the other. We are all unique individuals facing unique circumstances, and there is no comparison.
We also all have the capacity for gratitude, as well as something in our lives to be grateful for.
I recently shared a photo quote by George Ohsawa about gratitude on my Facebook, along with a personal story about how gratitude has worked its magic in my own life.
One evening, I found myself feeling unusually stressed, upset, resentful, and negative, and my thought patterns were on a train ride fuelled by these fleeting emotions. After a few moments of feeling rather sorry for myself and my circumstances, I realized I was only focusing on all the negatives and the issues of the situation: I wasn’t paying any attention to any of the good things that were still present despite the obstacles and challenges. So I decided to move my focus from the negative stuff back over to the positive stuff – all the things I was glad for in my life, the things I felt blessed and lucky to have.
Instantly, I began to change – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My body relaxed the tension it was holding on to, my breathing eased. The negative feelings that had taken hold in my chest were immediately relieved. I felt light, happy, and at peace – and grateful for all the amazing things in my life! Next to those positive feelings, the tough circumstances appeared much more manageable and a lot less overwhelming.
We all have this choice in each and every circumstance we encounter – we can be victims of it, or we can overcome. We can choose to overlook the countless good things and blessings which fall into our laps and our lives each and every day, or we can choose to pay extra special attention to those blessings and be mindful of how they brighten our lives.
Each day, I am inspired to be grateful in new ways through the shared teachings of a wonderful organization Gratefulness.org and through friends like Yanic, who are models for gratefulness in their own lives.
Each act of being grateful blesses our lives and the lives of others, and spreads love and positivity to everyone you share it with! Let your gratefulness be as contagious as your laughter.