Do I have a choice? Yes! Happiness is a choice as I discussed yesterday in my post Turn that Frown Upside Down. We make a decision each day, in each way whether we are going to embrace joy or not. This brings me to the topic of gratitude. Gratitude feels like one of those hokey things that people talk about throughout the month of November posting on Facebook (or more commonly known as FB) about their daily grateful thought. But what happens the rest of the year? We are ungrateful self centered people? Nooooo we are just caught up in the every day stressors which cause us to be weighed down until next November. Or maybe you are unfortunate during the year to have a loved one who has a brush with health issues and that causes you to be very grateful for everything again. And then….you go back to your crazy hectic life to forget all those grateful thoughts. I know this because that was me. Last when both my parents became very ill at the same time, life felt incredibly uncertain and scary. The first three months of 2012 were a blurry nightmare. I longed for a boring dull night at home where everyone was safe. And guess what, those days came because they both got better. I later returned to my crazy life until more illness happened around me this year to several people I care about. What was going on? Then it really hit me. I had been living in the world like there was always another time for things. I would figure out how to be happier at some point. Some day would be my day but just not today. Today there are bills to pay, crap I need to stay on top of but someday….someday I will have time for my happiness. Well that someday came and here I am.
I joke about gratitude being hokey because a lot of things that are supposed to be upbeat often do feel oddly cheesy. Given that I have always been a lover of cheese (all types despite some of it being quite unhealthy:) I used it anyway which helped me get here. The intense bouts of illness to people I love all around me made me stop and take a look at how I was living. Was I living like I was dying? (to quote a corny song by Tim McGraw that I love) Well yes I was but not in the spirit that McGraw sings about. I as living like I was the walking dead. Ungrateful, frustrated, scared. I know this sounds familiar because now that I am out of it, I see it all over the place. I see unhappy, irritable, frustrated people everywhere now that I am happier. I see in others what I couldn’t see in myself at the time. We have become a society that is so caught up in keeping our heads above water that we forget that this means our hearts have sunk below. Gratitude is one of the things that dug me out of this heap. My climb out came through realizing that these illness, these events around me where there as a teacher. They were there to teach me that life is fragile and precious. Of course we all know this when we go through things like I did but do we really know it? Like deep down in our soul. Well this year I did. I became grateful for these signs because I knew that it meant I had no choice. I had to change. I allowed my heart to rise above water (I can’t swim anyway so the head would have gone under eventually:) and I followed it.
Gratitude is more than something you practice around Thanksgiving. It is something that can become a way of life…moment by moment. In 12 step meetings they talk about how a grateful heart never uses. Gratitude makes a person begin to focus on the positive around them. (there we go with thinking our way into happiness.) Being thankful for what you have causes you to focus on things that you love. This causes you to radiate love to everyone around you. This in turn draws more love towards you. I know this sounds new agey but it’s true and that is me:) I am a huge believer in the Law of Attraction because I see it work in my life all the time. So do you like your glasses half full or half empty? Simply being willing to shift the way you approach something or the way you think about it, can shift the outcome. It’s the willingness that is the key. I am seeing this more and more in my life. Project deprivation, get more deprivation. Project abundance, well guess what? More abundance comes my way. Gratitude becomes a skill of attraction. Who doesn’t enjoy being around a person who is grateful and loving? Right? Certainly beats being around someone who is whining with the poor mes any day. We can be either of those people at any given moment. We can be the person who uplifts or the person who takes others down with us. You choose how you want your glass. In choosing so you also begin to choose the energy you draw towards you.
If you keep doing what you’ve done you’ll get what you got. So keep on trucking, be grateful for what you have because it may just draw to you the things that you want!