Embracing an attitude of gratitude
Being thankful doesn’t always come easy or, for some, even seem possible. But I have found that, even when I’m struggling and things seem bleak, there is always something I can be thankful for. At this moment, I’m thankful for the magical beans that enabled me to make the coffee that sits to my right, and for my cat snuggled up on my lap (even though she makes typing quite challenging).
Being thankful in all things didn’t come easy to me. At a particularly dark moment a friend encouraged me to think of something I could be grateful for, even if it was just that I could breathe. She encouraged me to think of one good thing every night before I went to bed, even if it seemed insignificant. Some days I was grateful for the roof over my head. Some days I was grateful the sun came out. And I am always grateful for my son, my family (both the two-legged and the four-legged) and friends. And, of course, Jesus, coffee and dark chocolate (in that order – lol).
Sometimes life, and what’s going on in the world, gets in the way of maintaining a mindset of gratefulness. But the more we look for the good; and the more we share goodness and kindness with the world around us; and the more we embrace the positive, the more these things become a habit. Besides, we need to remember that, no matter how bad we may have it, there is always someone dealing with something much worse.
Several years ago a gentleman from church and I were asked to speak during Sunday service about how we stayed joyful in the face of hardships. I met him the day before when we both turned up to help mutual friends with their move to a new home. He was listening as I was speaking to someone else who had asked about my ongoing health and financial struggles. I ended my tale of health and money woes by saying, “Well, it could always be worse. At least I don’t have a brain tumor.” Imagine how small and humbled I felt when the gentleman listening chuckled and said, “NO, that would be me.”
Of course I opened my talk the next morning by repeating that story, and not a day goes by that I don’t smile at the memory and am encouraged by his example to choose to hold on to joy, no matter what!
Thankfulness is a choice.
Gratitude is a choice.
Joy is a choice.
Kindness is a choice.
Compassion is a choice.
Seeing the good is a choice.
“I am thankful for another day. The world may not always be easy to live in, but I am thankful for another chance to be here, to breathe, to choose my direction, and to love and be loved. I am intent on highlighting the positive and offering the light I have to give to the world.” (aimhappy.com)
If you have ideas for remaining thankful in the midst of hardship, please reach out to me and share what works so I can then share with others. We all need reminders to focus on what we have, not on what we don’t. I truly believe by embracing an attitude of gratitude it becomes easier to see the good. And, seeing the good makes us kinder, gentler humans.
Finally, with Thanksgiving coming up this week, please mail me with any food/recipe-related questions you may have. And, if you don’t have family or friends to share Thanksgiving dinner with, consider serving at a local church or shelter. And… if you are fortunate enough to have people to share the day with, consider adding an extra chair or two (or six) to your table for those who don’t.