“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
There are (of course) a myriad of reasons for this – not least of which is the fact that life has the capacity to overwhelm us to the extent that we are not able to see what we have, as opposed to what we don’t.
And so we (for example) ….
- complain about the odd ache or pain – when we ought to be thankful that we don’t have a life-threatening illness;
- bemoan water restrictions which don’t allow us to water our gardens as often as we’d like – when we should be thankful for the fact that we have taps with water to drink;
- complain about the cost of petrol – which indicates that we have a car to drive as opposed to having to use public transport which (as we know in this country) leaves a lot to be desired;
- rarely acknowledge that we have children/spouses/family/colleagues/friends who bring value to our lives – when there are so many folk who have nobody to share sorrows, laughter and dreams with;
- are dissatisfied with neighbours and/or neighbourhoods who/which are not as quiet as we’d like them to be all the time – when we ought to be grateful that we don’t have to dodge bullets and lie awake at night listening to gunfire;
- complain about the lack of money – yet we overlook the fact that we have (for the most part) sufficient for what we need (not necessarily always for what we want) at any given time;
- are so wasteful with food – that we don’t think twice about dumping what someone else (less privileged) could be enjoying;
- focus so much on what has happened to us in any negative situation – that we completely overlook what could have happened;
- become so ‘blinded’ by the fact that our lives haven’t quite turned out the way we would have wanted or envisaged, that we fail to recognise the doors and windows which remain/have since become open to us ….
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”
Now don’t get me wrong … there are times when we have good reason to verbalise our disappointment, sadness, loss, dissatisfaction and sometimes even outrage and there certainly are instances which require us to speak up and out and so we should. But let us also never forget to give thanks for the many, abundant, big and small blessings … choosing to be and feel grateful and making optimum use of the opportunites which come our way to express that gratitude.
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”