You’ll seldom experience regret for anything that you’ve done. It is what you haven’t done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of you life and savor it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self-defeating ways means you’ve lost them forever.
If we fail to remember the lessons of 9/11, what is the point of remembering?
Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you’re a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you’re watching
And turn on “I Love Lucy” reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love
A lot of wonderful things came out of 9/11. God, family, country. Brotherhood, unity, love. America. Remember and believe in goodness.
In the Bible, in Ephesians, it says, “give thanks always for all things unto God…” and in 1 Thessalonians it says, “in every thing give thanks.”
Count your blessings. It’s a familiar phrase. It’s so easy to do it when life is good and things are humming along how we plan. But life often gets in the way of living and our plans and when it does, are we still grateful? Well, in all things? Like in everything? Yes, in everything. I am not claiming to be an expert, but this is my current focus. To give thanks and gratitude in all of my experiences. So, when the septic system crashes, “thank you God, I know you provide.” When there is a problem with a neighbor, “I am grateful that I have an opportunity to strengthen a relationship, practice forgiveness, and overcome my weaknesses.”
As I have continued to practice gratitude, I have discovered something. When you are purposely focused on gratitude, you are not focused on all the negativity that you might normally focus on. As a result, I usually feel less anger, frustration, stress and so on. And by being more positively focused, I often find a solution much more quickly than if I was bogged down in the mire of negativity that I might otherwise choose.
Something else I have discovered is that the more gratitude I feel, the more I have to be grateful for. I have found the following statement by Sarah to be true:
“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach
And here are a few more I like.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
“The grateful mind is CONSTANTLY fixed upon the best. Therefore it tends to become the best. It takes the form or character of the best, and will receive the best.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach: (She is the queen of gratitude)
“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.”
Heaven on earth sounds like something more of us can use. I remind myself on a regular basis when something presents itself to be unhappy about, that I am seeing an illusion. I am free to choose my reality and am choosing it more and more. Be grateful. You’ll be glad you are.
PS. Sometimes life hands you some pretty raw deals. Be grateful then too? Well, reservedly yes. There are some times when you are just going to plain and simple feel rotten. It’s ok to have these feelings if we don’t dwell on them for lengthy periods of time. Even so, we can still find things of value in all of life’s experiences. I recommend highly a technique called EFT to help overcome those experiences that have a way of dragging us down. How well does it work? It helped me overcome the grief of my mother’s suicide. And that is only the tip of the ice berg. See the video on the sidebar I am going to add now.
“Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”
You hear people say things like Mr Covey and it sounds so great in theory. But what about practice? Practice *IS* the key. The hardest work I have ever done over the last few years is to train, direct, and guard my thoughts. It does take practice. It isn’t easy when someone harms you, to bless them, be grateful for the experience, and refrain from slandering them to all your friends. But it can be done. It isn’t easy to hear a juicy piece of gossip and refrain from picking up the phone and spreading it. But it can be done. And it gets easier.
I watched Facing the Giants the other day. There is a line, where the coach says, “if we win, we praise Him (God), if we lose, we praise Him. I was thinking how similar that is to gratitude. If we have good things happen, we can choose gratitude. If we have bad things happen, we SHOULD choose gratitude. It’s all about the attitude.
We had an experience with a son two years ago as a senior. We are having the exact experience this year with the current son who is a senior. But, the way we are handling it is night and day. Last time, there was emotion, upset, and distress. This time, there is thought, planning, and resolve. I think the outcomes will be drastically different.
Choose your thoughts. Believe.
You can never become a great man or woman until you have overcome anxiety, worry, and fear. It is impossible for an anxious person, a worried one, or a fearful one to perceive truth; all things are distorted and thrown out of their proper relations by such mental states, and those who are in them cannot read the thoughts of God.