Last week I was in an organisation talking about gratitude. It seems apt given the time of the year. That said, gratitude can mean many things depending on what is going on in life. As I write this I am writing it in parts to all of you, whatever your life looks like right now.
Some of you will connect with the blissful joy of heart warming gratitude bursting from your seams. Others will be grateful for the recognition of just how hard gratitude is for you right now, and to you I am grateful that something within you is reading this post.
When things are going well it can be easy to find many things in life to be grateful for….well, for those that take the time to notice the many things they have to be grateful for.
When life is tough it can be harder for people to identify things they are grateful for. In the group session that I was running last week I asked people to write down things that they had enjoyed through the day; things like their favourite thing they had eaten so far, or their favourite conversation that day. I asked them to write down 3 things they were grateful for that day.
For some, it was easy but not for everyone. One person suggested perhaps it was possible just to feel gratitude to be alive. At the time I agreed with them, but in hindsight there is a depth to that comment that deserves greater discussion. I know the person that made that suggestion finds it very difficult to list things to be grateful for right now, not because they are ungrateful, but because they struggle in life. Life for them is hard and a constant effort to get through each day.
Sometimes, if life is tough, it is best to aim really small if you are looking for things to be grateful for. To say you are grateful to be alive is probably not true at all, however much you want it to be. To start small with something as little as I am glad I have a bed to sleep in, or right now in this moment I am grateful for this cup of tea and not having to speak to anyone, or I am grateful that I made it through today, these are more likely to be able to be thankful for. To be grateful to be alive is hard sometimes for some people, as is the serving of guilt they dish up to themselves for not being able to feel any other way.
Human spirit is amazing though, even in the depths of despair. Something within us keeps searching, keeps us hanging on in there, keeps us with just enough faith to keep going and to keep trying. And if we can do that then better moments do come. Something within us knows that. That is something to be grateful for.
All gratitude starts with being truly present in the moment so that you pay attention to all that is around you. The miracle of gratitude sits in the simplest of things, like the beauty of hearing a bird singing as a reminder that your own life is one of many million different life forms, all doing their best.
For this blog I simply wish to share with you some of the things I am grateful for, along with some of my favourite gratitude quotes. My Christmas wish for you all is that you can find many things to feel grateful for, and to lovingly wrap everything else that may or may not be going on in your life with kindness.
I send you much love and will be back to my weekly posts in the New Year. In the mean time here are a few of my favourite things to be grateful for….
Family and true friends.
A bed to sleep in, a roof over my head.
Food and something good to drink.
The nature reserve that I walk round, and all of the weather that I do that in.
Birds, the sky, trees.
My work, which never feels like work, and all the people I get to work with.
To you all for reading this post and for sharing it with others, you inspire me to write more.
Meditation, and all that it continually gives to me.
Forgiveness, both given to me and from me to others.
For the people and things that leave my life, and those that arrive to it.
Kindness, from many others to me, and from me to others.
Human spirit, that it keeps me going and that it can keep others going.
Freedom, to be me.
Opportunity, and I pray that I make the most of all given.
Love, most of all LOVE. ?