Gratitude: A state of being grateful for what you already have, knowing that better times and things are on their way.
I have been writing gratitude lists for almost 9 years now. Some of these lists have been one liners, entire pages, and others have been in my head tumbling around waiting for the opportunity to exit.
Writing a gratitude list was not something that I practiced everyday, and quite honestly was only practiced when I was in a very negative mindset and needed a pick me up to get out. Notice I used the word "very". In my old ways, I had to be in a lot of pain to motivate me to change. It was normal for me to have negative thoughts throughout each day and actually stew on them... Why do I have to go through this... I'm going to show him I'll send him a text/email right back letting him know exactly what I think about his comments... Why doesn't she like me, what did I do... I wish I would've gotten that job, car, friend, outfit, etc. I was full of negative thinking without even recognizing it. When I got honest with a friend about my thinking she suggested that I write a gratitude list. A what? Ok, so I knew what it was, but why? What will that do? I'm feeling hurt, angry or full of resentment, and she thinks I should write a gratitude list. It was a crazy thought (or so I thought), but I did it.
My first gratitude list was written with the letters of the alpabet, and I was to find something for each letter that I was grateful for. I did it. I was grateful for my children and food, and that tells me exactly where I was at in my life. I am very grateful that my mental state of being has changed immensely from this first list, and that I can be grateful for many things around me without much labor.
In an attempt to expand my gratitude list from my children and food, I practiced everyday finding something in my life to be grateful for. I vividly recall one morning in my car heading to work, and for the first time in my life I saw a "Sundog". I had no idea what it was or what they were called. All I knew is that I was grateful that I was able to see it. It was beautiful! S = Sundogs One morning I laid in bed talking to God, and I heard a bird chirping right outside my window. I felt that God had sent this little birdie to put a smile on my face. It worked. B = Birds I started to include things in nature as a part of my lists. I was growing, and God was smiling upon me as I began to open my eyes more and more.
Today I have trained my brain to seek things to be grateful for, and that includes within the painful stuff. Just this morning I woke up with major pain in my back from my back surgery in January. I could have laid here, and wallowed around in the negative thinking and let it ruin my day, but I choose a different mindset. I see it as it's a great sign that I am alive! The pain could be much worse, the outcome could have been much worse, but it's not and I believe that it will get better. I worked a long day yesterday at work, and missed Friday night family time. This is rare for me, and I could have gotten upset. However, I choose to see it as I am grateful that I have a job, and one that I enjoy doing.
If I look at my life around me through these glasses I can always find something to be grateful for, and yes, even in the ick. It's finding the positives in my life, and stop complaining. When I complain less I find myself much happier, and my eyes more open to all the great things around me.
If this is true for me it can be true for you. This is one of the reasons why I started "Daily Gratitude" on Facebook. I am completely amazed and overwhelmed by the support and gratitude that bursts from this page daily. I find myself looking at this page first thing in the morning, posting something that I am grateful for, and reading the posts again as the last thing at night. Even for someone who practices gratitude daily this simple action has made a change in my attitude.
I believe in the Law of Attraction. I attract myself to whatever I give focus or energy to; Grateful thinking brings great things! What do I have to lose? I can choose negative thinking that brings negative things or I can choose grateful thinking that brings great things. I think I'll have another cup of thankfulness! What will you choose?
I challenge you to start a gratitude list today, and continue it daily. It will change your life!