Gratitude affects our entire life – from the time we rise in the morning, to the evening hour when we close our eyes in sleep. I recently read (and believe) that in general, grateful people are more compassionate, merciful, generous and forgiving. And I am certain that we all believe these elements are sorely needed in today’s challenging world.
Once we become accustomed to practicing gratitude in all circumstances, the benefit of compassion will take root in our lives, leading to being more merciful toward others, more forgiving and intrinsically trusting the blessings hidden within the challenges we meet. This is not the art of escaping reality – it is the art of trusting through gratitude.
It happens to all of us – we find ourselves embroiled in a challenging situation that we hadn’t planned – one that creates the possibility of derailing what we expected would happen. Our first reaction is often one of frustration and in our haste, we neglect to take a moment (or two), to stand back and re-evaluate the situation and the blessings it might hold. Such frustration blocks our hearts and minds from the joy hidden in the midst of day-to-day situations regardless of their nature. The effects of our ‘attitude of gratitude’ are widespread. Our daily gratitude enriches other lives; is powerful enough to elevate the spirit of others; energizes a task at hand and inspires and transforms the very hearts of those with whom we come into daily contact. Gratitude can lift someone out of discouragement and give him or her renewed hope; a ready smile and willingness to listen can touch a heart; practicing gratitude in the midst of conflict can transform a negative situation into a positive one.
The gift of gratitude is one to be treasured, is contagious and will transform lives! As we share with those around us the unlimited healing power of gratitude and its ability to bring out and sustain the good, true and beautiful within all human beings, we will discover the magnificent blessings it holds. It is truly a gift – to the giver and the receiver alike. Even though practicing gratitude has been proven to provide strength and solace during dark, challenging times and enrichment during light, uplifting times, our memories can fade, and I urge you to keep a “Gratitude Journal” as a tool to capture and enjoy the gifts of gratitude that enhance your life. It is a habit that will reap the benefit of experiencing once again the miracle of adopting and living a life of gratitude.
I guarantee that it is a practice you will come to treasure. A life of gratitude is just around the corner of your lives and I encourage you to embrace it and rejoice in its by-products –compassion, mercy, generosity and forgiveness!