. B. The importance of gratitude
I always believed that I used good manners, I said please & Thankyou & always tried to be gracious when accepting gifts or compliments, however I now realise that this wasn’t the meaning of true gratitude.
I believe that true gratitude is a realisation of the miracles that make us who we are and saying a genuine thanks ( either out loud or silent) to our Creator. In my personal life I worship the Goddess, but for inclusiveness I normally use the term ‘Universal Energy’ or simply ‘Powers of the Universe’. In this way I try to make the point that any religion or faith, as long as it helps focus your life & makes you a better person, is of equal validity. I accept anyone’s right to worship the Godhead of their choice, as long as you harm no one or try to inflict your opinion on others. I understand that this isn’t always accepted by other faiths, but as I said, I believe that we all have the right to make our own choices. I have met people from some very diverse backgrounds & religions, what sets them apart from those who don’t accept any form of faith is that religion seems to reach into the depths of their being & helps to form a code of personal conduct. Generally people who care about others tend to have some form of religious/ spiritual faith. Obviously this is only my personal viewpoint and isn’t intended to offend anyone, however even if it only gives food for thought, then it has been a good thing to say.
Back to Gratitude…………..
In our lives we all have difficulties, some of us more than others. It can be very easy to fall into the self defeating emotion of ‘poor little me’. Quite often things will seem to be conspiring against us, life seeming extremely unfair, but how about trying to look at the other side of the coin?
Everyone has something that they can be grateful for, whether it is a huge windfall or a warm bed, a new car or an unexpected phone call from a friend, a new outfit or a babies grin. Can you see my point? Once we learn to see through grateful eyes & hearts, we can find new things to be grateful for, every day, even in our bleakest moments.
The power of gratitude was brought home to me recently when I found a facebook group which issued a challenge to show gratitude for something, for 100 days. I eagerly joined this group & have been amazed by the change that has occurred in group members. Almost everyone finds something positive to say, even in their saddest times, these people have become an inspiration to me. After a short time this attitude becomes a way of life, hopefully one that they will never want to give up! Unfortunately too many people still cling to their sorrow, believing that this is their lot in life, their only choice – but it’s not!
For more years than I care to remember, I had wallowed in self pity & depression, and yes, I probably had real reason to feel as I did, but what did I gain from it? Who did it help apart from the pharmaceutical companies that produced the mountain of tablets that kept me sane? (And even that is debatable!) Now though, I can see that if I hadn’t been through those hellish years, I would never be able to feel the joy that I do now. I have a family I rarely see, yet I am so grateful that I was blessed with 5 beautiful children & later, three lovely granddaughters. Nothing & no one can ever take away the happy memories that I have of their childhood, nor the warmth & love that I feel for them, they are part of me! How can that not be something to be grateful for? A few years ago I lost almost everything, but I now have a wonderful band of friends, a terrific support system & a great social life, surely something to be positive about? I have several health issues, including many food intolerances, so can no longer eat bread ( my favourite food!) nor dairy, or sugar, no alcohol and am unable to tolerate most form of grain. I am also vegetarian, so eating can be a nightmare! However a couple of positives here……. I have lost a tremendous amount of weight & feel much healthier, but also, I have a choice. These things make me unwell, but I could eat and drink any of them. I made the choice to abstain, to feel better. If I lived in a deprived part of the world, I may not even have water! I wouldn’t get that choice. I am extremely grateful.
The list could go on, but it doesn’t need to be dramatic changes to make a difference, small things are equally important!
So why not try a new way of looking at life? Start simply – 2015 could turn out to be the beginning of a wonderful new you.
I wish you all the love & luck in the world 💛💙💜💚❤️ Remember, try to practice gratitude, you have nothing to lose xx