Friday, November 4, 2016
Attitude of Thankfulness
It's a new month and at the risk of sounding cliche, it is the month that we typically focus more on being more thankful, or at least being more aware of being thankful. While I think it's good to have specific, focused times to express thankfulness or some other feeling or emotion, I want to be in a habit of ALWAYS having an attitude and mindset of thankfulness, no matter what month it is, or what the circumstances are that surround me. As I sat at my desk yesterday looking at our credit card bill and making sure I had the moo-lah to cover the charges (we don't believe in charging if we can't pay it when the bill comes). I usually remember to have it by the time the bill comes, but sometimes I forget...oops, and then for a moment I panic, but it always works out. So as I sat there, I realized how much I have to be thankful for. Even in the midst of making sure money was there to cover charges, even in the midst of life not quite going like we always plan. There is so much to be thankful for. And now this morning as I sit at my desk looking out the window at blue sky with puffs of white clouds, I'm thankful that I can see and take in the beauty around me, that I have a roof over my head and hot (now cooled) coffee in my mug.
I look at Facebook posts each day and some bring me great joy, and some great sadness as I observe the lenses that many people look through. One summer I bought a pair of sunglasses. Mind you, I do not spend much on glasses because I will inevitably lose them or break them. I just do. I won't spend more than $20 and more than likely will only spend $10. I mean, I do want them to work. So, I bought these cute sunglasses. I put them on when I went outside and after awhile commented "oh wow! The sky is so amazing!" I took them off for a minute and said "oh, I guess it was just the sunglasses". The sky was pretty, sure, but the sunglasses made it look even more pretty and dramatic. I immediately put them back on because I liked how things looked through those lenses.
That's the way it is with life. I'm not talking living in denial of reality, but I am saying that the lenses which we look through will paint our picture of what we see and how we see things. I can look at the same picture or the same circumstance as you, but see something totally different. The same with life. Sadly some people only see through lenses of bitterness, anger, hurt, negativity, entitlement, and the like. I see this daily in people I encounter, through the news and social media and I get it. Sometimes life is not fun, we can't seem to catch a break, we've been deeply wounded, abandoned, we don't know who or what to believe, you name it. BUT I also believe that in the midst of everything that happens in our lives, we can cultivate a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude and that will change how we approach life.
My challenge for myself is to remember each day to express gratitude and thankfulness. I've not been through the experiences of some and my experiences maybe haven't been as traumatic as others, but I have my own experiences and circumstances that could have left me bitter, angry, etc. But choosing to have a mindset that says those won't define me, those won't change who I am makes a huge difference. When we dwell on the negative in an unhealthy way, we are never free to move past those things. It certainly takes being intentional because it's so tempting to post things on social media, whether subtly or blatantly and we often feel justified. I decided it's just not worth it.
What about you? Do you find yourself complaining, unsatisfied, bitter, angry? Have you lost your sense of Thankfulness and gratitude? Start today, even if all you can muster is "I'm thankful just to be alive".
With Joy Unquenchable,
at 8:45 AM