Gratitude Makes Everything Better
We often question why seemingly bad things happen to us, or why after we prayed and prayed for what our heart desired it still did not materialize. It took me a long time to stop getting pissed off when I went through a few years of outwardly nothing working out, to hear some chirpy new age cheerleader say, “try and find it in your heart to be in gratitude of what you did get and don’t focus on what you didn’t!”
Very simply, it comes down to whatever energy you focus on, you make more of. If you stay in the anger, disappointment and feeling like you are not getting anything you want out of life, that is exactly what you will manifest more of. What changed my perspective on gratitude, after being told a thousand times that I DID get what I prayed for, it just came in a belief that I was only allowed to get what I wanted or needed and then was never allowed to keep it. It was the saying of an inspirational teacher that finally made me realize I WAS getting exactly what I expected.
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart
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What does it essentially mean to be grateful? Well I can tell you what it doesn’t mean and that is convincing yourself when your life is falling apart and you are in the throes of disappointment that everything is still just wonderful! That is an illusory ‘LaLa land’ approach to life. Living your life with gratitude means making a conscious choice to focus your time and attention on what you have going on in your life in the moment but holding onto the idea and belief that “this too shall pass as it always does.” The goal is not to block out the difficulties but to approach them from a perspective of appreciation of the wonderful everyday ordinary things in your life, whether big or small, that we might otherwise take for granted. Whatever you focus on is what you create.
Here are a few simple guidelines to follow when you find yourself falling down that dark rabbit hole of feeling sorry for yourself, hopeless, angry at God and the Universe, yourself and anyone else that gets in your way. It may take some practice but you will eventually find yourself wanting to move to the energy of gratitude versus of disappointment. Why? Because it will make you feel better and gives you hope.
- Set your alarm a little early and before you jump out of bed, take just a few minutes in the morning (make it a daily ritual) to think of the people who did something nice for you the day before, the bouncing puppy or child that likes to wake you up, the new dress you get ot wear that day or the partner you are getting ready to give a morning kiss to.
- When you’re having a hard day … take a moment and make a gratitude list. One of the things that can make a bad day much better is making a list of all the things you have to be thankful for. Remember the old saying, “There go I but for the grace of God,” when you encounter those with less than you.
- When facing a major challenge, be grateful for it, I didn’t say happy, grateful. I am not saying jump up and down with joy that you have a hurdle to overcome but truly believe that it will always turn out ok and it does if you believe it will, giving you the opportunity to grow, learn and become a stronger version of yourself when you overcome the obstacles.
- When anger comes up at someone, instead of getting mad and trying to be right, find the gratitude that you have within you to be the better person and walk away. You may have to bite your tongue and be thinking of every cuss word in the book, but you will feel better about yourself. That is what being in gratitude of being YOU is.
- If you experience a tragedy, be grateful for the life you still have and appreciation of how fleeting life is. Feel your grief and also feel the gratitude of having the experience of that person in your life for however long.
- Instead of looking at what you don’t have, look at what you do have. Be realistic, we all have a dream life we would like to live but that is 1% of the population. I can guarantee, if tomorrow you had to pack up your home, you would be saying, “where in the hell did I accumulate all this stuff?”
Susan Z’s Verdict
It takes practice as always, with new spiritual tools but if you keep in mind when the challenges hit or making it an everyday ritual, you will recognize very quickly what makes you feel better about yourself…feelings of disappointment and lack or feelings of hope and gratitude?
Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.