Gratitude turns what we have into enough.
It seems like there’s been a significant movement in recent years focused on the importance of expressing gratitude. I’m all for this because when I’m feeling anxious or stressed, taking a step back to evaluate all of the things I’ve been blessed with has really helped me. When I say “things” I don’t just mean literal things like material possessions, but also the people in my life, experiences I’ve had and my overall well-being. If you listen to any of the more notable motivational speakers, many of them claim that an integral part of their early morning routine includes taking time to think about all of the things they’re grateful for. I tried this ritual but for whatever reason, this practice really doesn’t resonate with me so instead, I started the practice of writing all of the things I’m grateful for on post-it notes and placing them on my standing and bathroom mirrors. This way, when I’m home, I have written reminders and I don’t necessarily need to set aside time to reflect; gratitude becomes part of my space.
Although this practice has proven helpful, I can’t help but wonder if it’s good enough. Is simply saying or writing what you’re grateful for, enough?
The more I thought about this, the more I began to think that maybe a more powerful way of showing gratitude comes from actions and not just words. Whatever your belief, most religious dogmas include some belief that we are all being watched over, regardless of what you may call the beings doing the watching or how they manifest themselves. I’m of the belief that the universe is watching and sees what we do with what we’ve been given to determine if we’re ready for more.
In other words, how are we honoring what we’ve been given?
For our bodies, are we feeding them with the right foods and exercising to stay strong and healthy or are we abusing them with things that don’t serve us well? For our jobs, do we show up and give our best or half ass our way through the day, counting down to the weekend? For our families and homes, do we fill them with positivity, encouragement and love, or do we take them for granted and treat them carelessly or critically?
Ambition and a desire for success are admirable, but to have peace during your journey, I think it must be anchored in what is and what is, are the things we’ve been blessed with. The fact that our eyes opened this morning is far from trivial; it’s actually pretty miraculous if you think about it. If nothing else, the fact that we are alive is worthy of gratitude.
I’ve found that acknowledgement and thanks for what I have (and don’t have in many cases) helps to anchor my feelings and actions in a foundation of reality, gratitude and peace.
What are you grateful for and are you honoring those blessings in a meaningful way?