I know how easy it is to get sidetracked with thinking about all the things that aren’t going right in your life, that oftentimes we overlook the good stuff. Life is full of little blessings. I bet that if you started counting up these blessings, both big and small, you would probably be astonished to discover that there are more positive things working in your life than negative. And these positive things don’t necessarily have to do with money.
Whenever I find myself becoming overwhelmed, stressed out, or thinking “poor me” thoughts (you know–the pity party line), I try to call someone I know who has it much worse than me. There’s plenty of people out there who are jobless, homeless, starving, or critically ill. Visualizing yourself in their shoes, even for a second, is a stark reality check. It quickly puts things into perspective. You can’t help but find yourself feeling grateful for what little troubles you have been dealt in comparison.
The other day my good friend Judy, who has a pure heart of gold, gave me a Gratitude Journal. I found it really does help to sit down and make a list of things that make you happy and that you are grateful for, like your friends, your family, your health, having a job, being alive, a moment of peace, feeling loved. Even if you have only one person in your life who loves you, then you are truly blessed. Not every person’s life is going to be a stroll down Easy Street. Expect that there will be obstacles along the path, which is what soul learning is all about. But also know it won’t last forever. You will survive. Instead, embrace a feeling of gratitude that you even exist to be a part of this journey on this amazing planet we call Earth.
When I’m away from home, especially in a third world country, I am grateful for a good bed, working plumbing, a hot shower, and a good meal. These are all things we take for granted. You never really appreciate these little things until you have to give it up or they aren’t available to you—especially loved ones. Today, back in my office, I was grateful for my software programmer giving me a break, the tech support guy who worked on my printer not giving up, my neighbor wanting to make sure I wasn’t going to be alone on Thanksgiving, and no California snow or cold weather. There is so much more that I am grateful for, it would fill a book (or a journal). Thank you, Judy! We can even be grateful for being able to get out of bed in the morning. We think of the American Thanksgiving Holiday as THE day to give thanks when thanksgiving should really be every day. I am even grateful if you read this and it reminded you, even if in the smallest way, of what is really important in life.
“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.”
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