Gratitude: The quality of being thankful. It arises from the heart. It is a condition of the mind and heart. It makes one appreciate people, places and things. Simple things - hot water. Good food. Roofs over our heads. It is very basic for me, it is the manner in which I choose to live. It is an attitude. A mindset.
My first thought upon waking is usually about pain. This is because I live in pain. I deal with it everyday, 24 hours a day. Except when I'm sleeping. The first thing, most generally, I do is get my medicine - unless I turn on the coffee pot on the way. Do I like living in such a manner? No. Alas, this is the hand that I've been dealt. So one much assimilate. The medicine only works to a point - and I must deal with the rest. I must deal with it whether I'm cooking, driving, sitting, standing, working, or resting - because it is always there. Someone once told me to befriend it - and I guess I have.
We have choices in life, many we do not even realize. Our minds become so focused upon our circumstances that we miss alternatives. The proverbial forest for the trees adage. My pain has taught me lessons. The physical pain has taught me and the emotional pain has taught me. It's taught me that there are realms beyond what we experience that can be experienced by the mind. I can get so immersed in what I'm doing that I forget the pain. I'm extremely thankful for those times. I've learned the less I focus upon it, the less it focuses upon me. This is true of everything in life. When we put all of our energies into something, it grows to tremendous proportions. The same is true of gratitude.
We can live our lives in "thankfulness". We can see beauty when there was none, if we but choose. We can see wonder in our daily lives all around us - if we have an open heart. An open heart to experience, to forgiveness, to learning and to love life. In the midst of what our televisions sets tells us is a negative, angry world - we can have peace. If I can do it, and experience pain levels that I do - and have the history that I have, so can anyone else. If I can have hit bottom, started over with nothing but clothes and shoes in my car - so can anyone else. Richness comes from inside. It is a heart-speak. It is a conditioning of the mind, a mental attitude.
Think of the things that matter in your life. Focus on life's goodness. Pull from your heart what makes your heart sing. Let that be the fuel in which you live your life. One cannot but be filled with joy - when our priorities take precedence over our negative tendencies. The 'so called' little things that we take for granted - would stop us in our tracks if they were not there for one day. Why not find pleasure in them? Why not give glory where glory is due for the things that keep us going - day in and day out? It is a very simple principle to live by. I think you will find it will grow on you - as you begin to have a thankful disposition.
Gratitude, even in the state of pain - cannot but expand the mind. It cannot but expand the heart. A heart-fullness that leads to an expectant and open life. A life that is rich, and full of hope. Hope for today, hope for tomorrow and the ability to see miracles when they happen. They do happen - we live in an infinitely wondrous universe. We have a God that can do all things. He sprinkled the stars - and set the universe into being. He wants us to be thankful and at peace. At rest. To trust. Expect great things, because they do happen, despite what the world will tell you. He answers prayer.
Gratitude is a wonderful feeling. Pain is a part of my life. I choose to be thankful, despite the fact that I don't have everything that I wish I did. I believe in time, as it is to be, my prayers well be answered. That is what trust is about. I have enough peace to wait, and be thankful along the way. It makes for a much more abundant life. I thank God for my abundance. Even when there is lack. True riches come from the heart. It is a bounty that cannot be measured in monetary scales. There is no price I would place upon it.
Find yourself being thankful for the things that are a constant in your life. Things that you don't normally think about. See if your heart does not become full. See if you outlook upon life does not change. Let that feeling build from that place. Open your heart to the things that matter in you life. See them for what they are - blessings.