In a media driven age that tells us we don’t have enough, or that the world is on the brink and all is not as it should be – gratitude for life can be very hard for most people to appreciate. Typically people can tell you what they are in lack of or suffering from, but very few can tell you what they are grateful for. I know this subject has been touched on before by others, but I bring it up again simply because I believe it to be not only incredibly important to personal growth but also very beneficial to inner health.
A focus on what you have to be grateful for should not be viewed as some Rote* routine. It should be used as a time for stillness, contemplation and the observing of the moment. Like all beneficial practices you may find yourself reluctant to give it time. You may even find yourself embroiled in a personal debate about who, what and why you should be grateful. Like all ego mind chatter, this can be engaged or simply observed, acknowledged and released.
By slowing down your thought process and understanding how wonderfully precious that very second is, gratitude begins to flow naturally and without evaluation.
It may go something like this: I am grateful for this moment of peace, this breath, this breeze, the bird’s song, that person’s smile, the blue sky, the fun of just being soaked through in a shower of rain…
While I do not advocate dwelling in the past, it maybe helpful to view times that you found painful from the stand point of an unattached observer, seeing how positive outcomes may have developed from that perceived negative time. In doing this you can then heal a moment in your past with a true heartfelt forgiveness and gratitude to all involved, yourself included.
If this idea does not resonate with you, don’t do it. Just refocus on the now which really exists and bless the moment for what it is a perfect piece of your life’s voyage. If you are struggling to find anything to be grateful for in your moment of contemplation, I would suggest you maybe still viewing it from a materialistic view point.
If all else fails, you can just observe the moment in the full knowledge that “This too will pass”.
True Gratitude is a blessing which can only begin to truly flow from those who have ceased to a grasp…
* Rote learning is a learning technique which avoids understanding of a subject and instead focuses on memorization. (Wikipedia)