The More Grateful We Are The More Beauty We See.


“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One thing I love about my daughter-in-law is that she truly possesses the quality of being grateful. My expectation when I send a package or a card to her is to not receive something in return. In response, she always sends me a beautiful thank-you card filled with gratitude. I love the cards that I receive and I keep them in a special place. Her words are genuine and they make me feel very appreciated. Her gratefulness has been encouragement for me to do better.

The word gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness.

Although I would love to consider myself a glass-half-full kind of gal, when it comes to being grateful I admit that this quality is not my natural inclination. It is far too easy for me to become complacent and take for granted the many blessings I have in life. When I look at myself in this context, I question whether I am truly a glass-half-full kind of gal or am I leaning more toward the empty side?

I think most of us would agree that we have much to be thankful for. We have many conveniences in life. We live in comfortable homes and have reliable transportation. We have clean water, clothes to wear and an endless supply of healthy food. We have access to quality healthcare and higher education. We have our freedom.

When I look at how many conveniences we have, I find myself questioning whether it is easy for us to take them for granted simply because they are convenient. Does convenience cause us to become more complacent with our gratitude?

Gratitude is something we should practice daily. The world would be a much happier place if we did. Finding gratitude can be illusive when surrounded by negativity and complaints. It is far too easy to complain about a sink full of dirty dishes then to think about all of the starving people in the world. It can become frustrating when we think about how expensive it is to maintain a home when the world is filled with people who have no homes to call their own.

When I look at gratitude under this lens, my perspective completely changes. How can I not feel grateful for all the wonderful things I have in my life when so many people are left without?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I don’t want to go through life always feeling as if I have to search for things to be thankful for. I want gratitude to be a natural part of me. I want my glass to be half full rather than half empty.

Finding ways to be grateful doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are 5 simple ways you can start being grateful today:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Jot down the small things from your day that mattered to you such as meeting a friend for coffee or taking your dog for a nice walk. Use a traditional journal, writing prompts or take advantage of technology and find one of the many gratitude apps that are now available.

  • Thank yourself. Gratitude doesn’t always need to be focused on what other people have done for you! Make sure you give yourself a thank-you for the healthy habits you’ve cultivated in your life, such as eating plenty of veggies or giving yourself enough time to rest each night.

  • Check for silver linings. There is light even in the midst of our most difficult challenges. We just have to look for them. When things feel hard, ask yourself, “What is good here?”

  • Volunteer. For many people, the key to having more gratitude is to give back to others in their local community. Not only will it make you more grateful for the things that you may take for granted, but studies have shown that volunteering for the purpose of helping others increases our own well being and gratitude.

  • Say thank-you. Be grateful for the small things that people do for you that you often take for granted. Saying thank you to your loved ones, to your server or your bus driver goes a long way.

There are so many benefits to being grateful. Gratitude brings a sense of joy and happiness along with an optimistic outlook and a more helpful and compassionate spirit. These are the key ingredients needed to fill your half empty cup to overflowing!

Reflect and Respond

What are three things, big or small, you are grateful for today?

Please comment below

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