Updated: Jul 7
"Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreiate life and you'll find that you have more of it."
- Ralph Marston
I wanted to include a place in our website where you are free to learn about gratitude, a mindset of thankfulness and thus feel that you are truly blessed. I truly believe and have experienced that it is not happiness that brings us gratitude, but it is the other way aroound. Gratitude brings us happiness. We look everywhere to find happiness. But most of the time we end up feeling disappointed, sometimes guilty, sometimes we feel like we wasted so much time on that one thing or person that we thought will us true happiness, but that thing or person end up not living to our expectations.
Have you ever woken up in the morning, just thinking "Oh my, that was a good sleep! I feel so rested. Thank you!" I have. Or have you ever gotten up feeling weary because there is a busy and stressful day ahead of you at work? I have. But on this one, I have to really pray and hope for the best. I tried a different approach because I was tired of feeling stressed and not looking forward to going to work. When I feel stressed because of work, I thank God for my patience and resilience, for having a job, for the things I can afford, for the food on our table and for our home. It is somewhat incorrect to be thankful that you have what others don't because we have to remember that every one has their own struggles and it is inconsiderate to think that we have a better life than another person. Everybody is blessed. It is just how we see life. I once read that prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things. (Eric Butterworth)
Abundance in material things is most likely how most of us measure success and then we measure happiness by how successful we are. I did that once. For a very long time. And during that time, I was never really satisfied nor happy. Every material thing I accumulate, I end up not being satisfied after a while. It is not something to be embarrassed about. It is something very human to feel. My son keeps telling me that all these material things are because we have been endoctrinated that capitalism and material accumulation will make us happy. He pointed out that it all starts out with buying material things, then that phase becomes not enough, then you go through the "travel" phase where you want to go around the world and accumulate an experience of cultures, and that becomes redundant, then the phase where you try things you have never done before, like skydiving or trying a risky delicacy or something like that. It is because the human mind and body are always craving new and exciting things and expereinces when the person is not happy. How am I talking about gratitude when I am talking about material things and experiences? It is because I have expereinced it myself. I learned to sit back and say thanks for every new purse I buy, every pair of shoe that I wear, every lipstick I every bought and tried. Every experience in every restaurant we visit. But most of all I say thank you for time spent with family, with friends, with getting through that stressful pile of boxes with my colleagues, with finding a solution to a problem with the help of my husband, when my kids bake fresh scones and pastries for me. When you develop this "thank you" feeling of submission to really feel grateful, that's when you actually develop that attitude of gratitude. I say thank you in prayer, and I make sure I set time aside to pray and meditate. To me that brings me that very fleeting feeling of thankfulness.
So let us reflect on this. " We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." - Cynthia Ozick
I hope this brings to mind what you do feel grateful for. For my next post, the important steps in living the life of gratitude.