I believe Gratitude is as important as breathing.
I’ve met some people who believe that to be grateful is to be complacent. Wha?? “Yes!” they argue. “If you start appreciating what you have, you’ll stop working to get better!” Well, hell…I guess I’m the best version of myself-year after year! No need for reflection? No need for change? No need for any self-improvement? M I N D B L O W N. I’m sorry, but I celebrate being grateful. I find doing so to be incredibly motivating! I want MORE of whatever it was that saw me receive a comforting sensation that wholly enveloped my very soul!
For me, gratitude started in a therapy session. Many, many years ago, I couldn’t fight my way out of a paper bag. After a string of miserable boo-hoo-fests, and watching me only sit on the edge of her soft, over-sized & cream colored love seat, my therapist asked if I’d ever made a list of the things I cherish. “I’m sorry, what did you ask me?” I sniffled in reply. She repeated her question and asked if I had ever sat down, with actual pen and paper, and written out a running list of all that I had around me that was GOOD. Thirty-something me, at the time, had never even thought of that. ‘It seemed too simple to be effective’–I remember thinking to myself. But I told her I would do it and we’d talk about it at my next visit.
Allow me to share this: CREATING THAT LIST WAS A GAME CHANGER.
It is important to physically write out the list. Something magical happens as your pen or pencil scratches out each letter. The strokes, causing the ink to form the words, begin breathing life into what those words actually mean to YOU. It is a deliberate act that your brain must attend to. And when your head is involved, your heart is stirred. And when your heart is stirred, your soul is asked to be present. It can be transformative. Write one out as often as needed, or, whenever the world decides to sit upon your shoulders in an attempt to squash your very life force. You’ll find that this kind of list gives you super powers like: Calmness, Inner Peace and The Ability to stop bulls*** in its very tracks. Even more, Gratitude will give you the ability to love yourself and to forgive your own humanity in the middle of stressful moments that are beyond your control.
Later, you will find that Gratitude comes naturally. It becomes a part of the Who that you present to yourself and to rest of the world. It has an amazing effect on those around you and those closest to you. Gratitude is never complacent. It always sees and cheers for the potential, and then the successes, in our lives. Gratitude is a powerful, living force of overwhelming positivity when we need it most.