I came across a book on gratitude, which has actually changed my life, and I was a very grateful person, to begin with.
We all have problems; they come to us all. Some are physical, others are emotional, and sometimes even spiritual ones arise.
We like to be in control of any change in our lives, but it doesn’t always work out that way; life evolves at an alarming rate. With all the pressure, stress and worry, we can easily get caught up in it, not seeing a way out.
“I would be very grateful if things would just work out the way I want.” Then it works out, and we are thankful for a fleeting moment.
In the book, it made reference to Matthew 13:12. “Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”
Many people have said to me, this passage sounds unjust, as it seems to be saying the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. For me, Jesus is talking about knowledge of the kingdom of heaven, but gratitude fits very well.
“Whoever has gratitude will be given more, and he will have abundance. Whoever does not have gratitude, even what he has will be taken away.”
We live in a society of MORE, everyone wants MORE, they want to lose more weight, they want more holidays, they want more money, then they will be happy. In their search for more, they are missing a vital ingredient – Gratitude.
The art of being grateful for what we already have.
When you are grateful for your job, even if it’s not perfect, your view on it will change, meaning you will enjoy it more.
When you are grateful for the relationships in your life, even if some of them are not perfect, you will begin to look at the positive aspects of them, and the appreciation for them will grow.
When you are grateful for the money you have, no matter how little, you will find, this simple change of focus makes a huge difference in how rich you feel.
The flipside is when you are not grateful, you will find that you will only look at the negative things in your job, in your relationships, you will complain about the lack of money, meaning you will not even get the enjoyment out of the little you have.
What You Focus On Grows.
It was recommended to write down 10 things each morning that you were grateful for. I thought to myself after a few days this is going to be difficult, but what I found was, during the day new ideas kept popping into my head. It became clear to me, very quickly, there was so much in my life to be grateful for.
My list started with the Internet because it is the reason I am connecting to you today. My family for giving me a solid foundation of faith. My senses so I can experience the world in all its glory. It actually alarmed me the number of things that I took for granted.
If you mentioned being thankful for your sight to anyone that has sight they would not really appreciate what you mean. Take it away from them for even an hour, and their life would come to a stand still.
Throughout the week my list started to include the simple pleasures of life, coffee, food, clothes, nature. Then I began to realise the number of people that contributed to provide service to me throughout the week. Thousands of farmers, manufacturers, packers, delivery drivers. All essential people to my survival, but all of which, until recently – I took for granted.
The more I was grateful, the happier I became. There was so much in my life that I took for granted; I simply did not realise how rich and successful I really was. I have absolutely no excuse to complain about anything. In today’s high standard of living, I haven’t got much, but I am still richer than half the people on this planet.
Some people might say, all this grateful stuff is not going to make my life any better, so what if I can walk, so what if I can talk, feel, hear, see, everyone can do these things? What am I gaining by being thankful for what I already have, it seems pointless?
You will find that these same people are not entirely happy; they will constantly be depressed and stressed. No matter how much money they have, they will still have a void in their life. They will spend all the money they have, maybe even more than they have, with the illusion that MORE will fill the void, but they will still be unhappy stressed and depressed. They will still say that gratitude is a waste of time.
When you think, I don’t like my job, I’m not happy in my relationship, I haven’t got enough money, my life’s a mess, I cant pay my bills, no one appreciates me, I haven’t got enough time, then you attract more of these experiences.
Learn to turn it around to:
I’m grateful for my job. I’m grateful for the relationships that make me happy; I’m thankful for the money I have, I’m grateful for my life. I’m grateful that I am able to use service’s before I need to pay for them. I’m thankful for the people that do appreciate me.
True happiness and fulfilment come from being thankful for what you already have. When you are grateful, even the smallest increase in any of these things feels like a gift.
Much of what we take for granted living in the west, people in other parts of the world dream about.
True riches come from gratitude. Try it just for today, and you will see the difference that it makes.
Have a good weekend.
Rev J Martin