The Art of Gratefulness

I know of several people who are planing to use the month of November to practice the art of gratefulness. The idea is to take a few moments each day, contemplate what we have to be grateful for and then write it down. Sounds simple. But after you go through all the obvious things, family, health, home, etc., it can become a little harder to notice the smaller, ordinary things that make life so wonderful. It takes practice. Some people are quite good at it. They tend to be the happier folks in our lives. Most of the time, it’s easier to find a hundred things to gripe about. I know. I do it every day. I have a litany of things that piss me off or annoy me or that I worry about all of which can put me in a crummy mood. With all the bad news and ugly side of human nature we are bombarded with every day, it’s just so much easier to complain.

Viktor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search for Meaning” and a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor said ” Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.” We so often give up that freedom because it seems simpler to go along with the sour, cynical
atmosphere so pervasive in our society. But the route that appears easier, in reality, makes the journey harder.

So I begin tonight to choose a grateful attitude. I start with what I am most grateful for – my husband. He stands by me. He has my back. He encourages me. He protects me. He makes me laugh. He makes me beautiful. He knows me. He loves me. He is Life’s greatest gift to me. How could I not be thankful for such a partner and friend?

That was an effortless way to start. I know there will be days when I will feel anything but grateful. But that is why you practice gratitude – to get through those days. I hope by the end of this month to have developed the habit of being thankful. I know I am surrounded by a bounty of blessings. I need only to open the eyes of my heart and practice the art of gratefullness.

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