Gratitude - a Daily Journey

Today I am grateful for so many things in life.  I am grateful for my husband and my parents, for my children and my kitties.  I am grateful for having a career that I love where I can help people cope with their pain and find their own gratitudes. I am grateful for the people that have helped me along my journey to get to where I am now.

grat·i·tude: ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/  noun

  1. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

viktor frankyl, gratutide, finding meaning

Life hasn't always been easy and I certainly haven't always felt grateful. Life is hard.  But life is also beautiful. If you step back and think of just 3 things every day that you are grateful for, it will change your perspective and change your life.  In my line of work, I talk to people who have experienced extraordinarily difficult things. Sometimes they no longer want to live because living is too painful. Yet, even people in the deepest recesses of their pain can find something to be grateful for.  A roof over their heads, foot to eat, toothpaste.  It's so easy to overlook the small things.  But I say that life is made up of these small things, moments that can either be treasured or ignored.  

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
— Viktor Frankyl

Viktor Frankyl survived the Holocaust and the concentration camps by finding meaning in the tiny moments of life - a sunset, sunshine on his face, a crust of bread.  We create our own reality through our thoughts and perceptions. Gratitude can shift perception from one of negativity and agony to one of acceptance.  This is such a simple concept that it might seem airy-fairy and trite, but it's true.  Yes, it's a simple idea, but that doesn't mean that shifting perception is easy.

One way you can start to shift your perception today, right this moment if you like, is to keep a gratitude journal. Each night before you go to bed, write down 3 things that you are grateful for today. It takes less than a minute to do, so lack of time is no excuse.  Try it out for just a week and see if anything shifts in your life or your perception of life. The key is doing it every day and actually writing it down. What do you have to loose?

Further reading:

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankyl

Radical Acceptance  by Tara Brach