Right now, some of the most precious people to me – are going through unimaginable heartache. I have been there too many times in my life. I wish it on no one.
It is during those trials of life we build the mental muscle to learn to appreciate the good in our lives. We develop our skills to cope and how to appreciate all aspects of our lives.
Or do we?
As a Christian, I find it so bizarre that many will proclaim that God has “blessed them” – only when they RECEIVE or something GOOD HAPPENS to them. I believe the opposite – I believe in all things, He blesses us – but we fail to see it.
In 2008, was a year I wish I could erase from my memory bank. Family, Financial and Emotional struggles that sent me to the brink of mental collapse. It was during that time – I learned the value of the “attitude of gratitude”. I learned that being gratitude in all things, will open up possibilities in my life – more than I could of ever imagined.
Even the most ill stricken individuals will find a glimmer or two of hope and find that they are in fact, grateful for their spouse, children or good friends.
But, it is my personal belief that the “attitude of gratitude” goes way beyond the obvious.
We have to learn to be grateful in ALL things. Yes, all things. Even for that job that you complain is driving you nuts. Be grateful you are employed – because millions are not. For those who complain gas prices are too high. Be grateful you have a car to drive and not have to live in one. Shall I continue?
Well, one day I set out to ensure my entire day was focused on being grateful in ALL THINGS. By lunch, my head was hurting and I realized I could not spend my entire day thinking of ALL THINGS.
I then, developed a sorting system that I use each day to help me stay focused on what to be grateful or where my thoughts are directed for that day.
For us Baby Boomers – remember those plastic photo cubes? I do! I loved them. I bought one at the local Dollar Tree and I made categories of my life that described who I am:
On each side of the cube, I put a label with the categories (see below)
|My Gratitude Cube|
After several days, I found this exercise to be easier and more fulfilling. I would find myself thinking of events of people and contemplating on the blessings I had with them – even during the trials. Some days, I was often moved to tears because I realized HOW grateful I was for that aspect of my life.
Many ask me why I included a “Me/Self” category. Too often, we forget to look at ourselves and be grateful for ourselves. We all have talents and skills. We need to be grateful for ourselves (easier said than done, I know).
If you don’t have a cube – use index cards or note paper and write the categories. Shuffle the cards every AM and draw the card for your Daily Gratitude Focus.
Some other categories you may want to add is Education, Entertainment, Nature – whatever shapes your life – create a category.
How do you keep the “attitude of gratitude” everyday? I would love to hear your ideas, tips and stories.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Running Coach & Public Speaker
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