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.