“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend” ~ M. Beattie
Sometimes I wonder if I just got lucky. Maybe for this trip God chose to bless me with a joyful and grateful heart. I have wondered if it’s just that the challenges in my life are less than the joys, or just easier than other peoples challenges, maybe, or maybe not.
I have learned that living a life with gratitude and choosing thankfulness is a choice. There was a time I thought my life experience was based on external events, what I have thankfully learned is that living a happy joyful life comes from within ourselves and not what happens to us from outside forces. Shifts in our thinking from dull expectancy to joyful appreciation, can occur if we regularly and mindfully draw our attention to everything however small that brings us joy and happiness. I learned to choose to live with a thankful heart, not because of what I have, but because it is an authentic expression of whom I am. Living with gratitude is a simple decision that requires a conscious daily commitment, especially on those days that are filled with negativity, a negativity we often unconsciously create when we forget to be grateful for all of our life experiences. I am a happier husband, dad, friend, brother, co-worker, and neighbor when I choose gratitude and see the good in others, my circumstances, and myself.
Gratitude comes from developing a habit which keeps us in the present moment. It can also come from a glancing back in appreciation to what was, and of course a positive look forward to what might be; our hopes and dreams.
Living with gratitude is simply a choice that gives us freedom to say thank you to others, to smile at strangers, hug a friend, or help someone in need. Being grateful allows us to connect to and appreciate the simple everyday gifts of the present moment.
Whatever your circumstances are, wherever you are placed, you have things to be grateful for in your life. We have all been presented with this mysterious and magical gift of life, we all have a purpose, being grateful allows us to connect to the goodness in ourselves, others and all that this beautiful world has to offer.
I am thankful and grateful for all the ways every one of you have touched and blessed my life! With a heart full of gratitude and joy…thank you, thank you, and thank you.