Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gratitude Pt I

This is something I’ve again struggled with for years - taking too much (and too many people) for granted. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t a case of being dismissive of others and their support, not at all – it was more a case of not realising how “lucky” I was. I think more often than not I was grateful on the inside, but perhaps chose not to express it. Either way, my perception on this has totally transformed in the last year or so, and now I’m grateful for everything in my life. I even have gratitude for the challenges ahead, knowing that some will be easier to embrace than others, but knowing at the same time that each of them is an opportunity for growth.

Having discussed with various people the value of expressing gratitude, I’m aware of how much confusion – and sometimes distress – it causes. For some, it’s very difficult – illogical even - while for others it’s straightforward and easy. Think, for a moment, of how you feel toward your parents, your friends, your environment. Which of these sit uncomfortably, and which sit easily?

INQUIRY: Grab a piece of paper, and on one side list all the things you’re grateful for in your life. Now turn it over and list all the things you feel you should be grateful for. How much of a discrepancy is there?

ACTION: Have a look at these lists every day for a week, and express your gratitude for each and every thing on there. If you’d like to do it through prayer, then that’s great. If you’d like to do it through thought, then that too is great. Perhaps if there’s a particular person you feel gratitude toward, then how about finding a way to express; perhaps through one of the above or something more tangible like a phone call or email. Whatever you do, make a note of how it feels. And where is this gratitude coming from?

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