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Why Gratitude?


There’s just so much that can be said around the topic of gratitude. I love these topics because they cause me to stop and think and do a deeper dive. Do I think about gratitude? Every day. Well, perhaps think isn’t the best term. Do I experience gratitude every day? I do.


My journey started around 12 step tables where people would talk about gratitude and I would think, “what the hell is that?” Grateful for what?


Then I’d read books that mention gratitude and maybe dip my toe in with a tepid “OK, I’m grateful I’m alive.” Then it morphed a little to, "I don’t make the grass grow or eyes see." Then I’d look up to the sky and say, wow, I didn’t make all this but grateful to whomever or whatever did.


Then, I started waking up in the morning and being grateful for having arms, legs and hands that worked. After a while, gratitude took on a life of its own.


Now, almost 40 years from that point, gratitude is as much a part of my life as breathing. It is a thread that runs through every part of me, and I couldn’t separate myself from gratitude, or I wouldn’t be me.


Often now, as I go about my daily activities, I just stop, get a chill down my spine, in a beautiful way, and say, “thank you.”


Let's look at some aspects of gratitude and how might gratitude fit into our lives:


  •        When I’m grateful, there’s always a place for my being, my soul

  •        My life will flow if I live it in a state of gratitude

  • My life will be a grind without gratitude

  •  Gratitude is foundational to a contented life

  •        Gratitude is the fuel for a life of peace and happiness

  •        Gratitude is what lubricates the wheels of life

  •        Life cannot function properly without gratitude


Gratitude, at least in my case, needed to be practiced, one thing at a time, until it integrated and grew.


Conscious practice will get the ball rolling.


What is the issue many of us face when we’re tangled up inside? Asked another way, why aren’t we naturally just grateful?


Because we’re too wrapped up in ourselves and what we think we want or need.

When we’re wrapped in our own wants and desires, it’s difficult to get outside ourselves and experience something like gratitude.


When there’s something I want, other than what I have, I am in the future, right?


When there’s something that makes me cringe or regret, I’m in the past.


Now think about gratitude. When I’m experiencing gratitude, that is a very NOW moment experience.


This is why it’s so beautiful as well as crucial to an overall joyful and contented life experience.


Can we be grateful for unpleasant experiences? In our heart of hearts? Yes. Why?


Because they've brought us to a point where writing about, and reading about, gratitude, is what we're doing at this moment.


I've had plenty of unpleasant and painful life experiences. However, there is nothing about my life that I would like to change. Why?


Because I am truly grateful for where I am now. If I changed one thing, it might change everything.


What would happen if we went from being agitated and angry, feeling like a victim, shaking my fist at the sky, exclaiming, “I don’t deserve this!” ... to looking at all the gifts we have been given, being humbled and honored exclaiming “I don’t deserve this"?


Gratitude


Do we need to be grateful to someone or something “out there” to be grateful?


Not necessarily, at least as we embark upon the journey of practicing and starting to experience what it feels like to be grateful.


Sometimes when I look up at the stars, experience the beauty and wonder of all that surrounds me, as well as all that is in me, I don't have a thought of any name or deity or entity in mind, when I just say,


"Thank you"

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