It feels good to be grateful. I mean, really—It feels really good to be grateful for your life, your family, your friends, the beautiful day, whatever.
I’m sure you have known people in your life that seem to enjoy being miserable, people who can’t see the bright side of a situation even when all the sides are bright. You know the people I’m talking about, the complainers, the be-moaners, the “woe-is-me” people. I can remember a very specific “a-ha” moment when I was watching one of those people. You would have thought that her life was so awful and so sad according to her words and her countenance. But I knew her. I knew she had a pretty good life. Really, she didn’t have many problems. Of course, her life wasn’t perfect but nobody’s is. But rather than focusing on the good things in her life, she focused and remembered the parts that were perhaps not so good.
I can remember making a conscious decision to not be like that, to focus on and remember the good parts of my life. I thought, “I want to be happy, I want other people to be happy around me. I want to be grateful for the life I have instead of bemoaning the life I don’t have”. I may not always reach that goal but my consciousness is there.
So I started focusing on what I could be grateful for. There are so many things. Everybody has something they can be grateful for. There are things we all have in our life that we can be grateful for. Things like good weather, toothpaste and toilet paper. I know the last two seem mundane but if you don’t think you can be grateful for those things, think of the alternative!
Do you realize that in the United States even most of the “poor” people enjoy television sets and DVD players? You can check out almost any book in the world for 2 or 3 weeks at a time for free at your public library. There is an abundance of knowledge and wisdom, happiness and joy everywhere throughout the world. Everyone has some things to be grateful for. Think and focus on those things. Let the other things fall away.
A former acquaintance of mine used to ask me why I was so happy all the time and I told her about being grateful for the things that you have. She said that it was so hard to be grateful and I can remember being shocked. I thought it was easy, fun and it felt good. It didn’t seem hard to me. But I realized that I had made a habit of being grateful for the good things in my life whereas she had made a habit of noticing and focusing on the things she didn’t like, the things she wanted changed, the faults of everyone in her life and even her own faults. It was no wonder she was so unhappy!
I have since learned that my “Attitude of Gratitude” really helps me create the life of my dreams. And again, I am grateful for that. But I also want to express that even if gratitude didn’t help me create my life the way I want it to be, I would practice it anyway, because it feels good. Gratitude feels good and I want to be happy and feel good. Always.
Author: Karen Lynch