I learned a long time ago that gratitude is a game changer. I stumbled upon this understanding from saying thanks at meal times. To get myself out of a bad place, I leaned on and tried many self help strategies. Somewhere through this mix, I discovered the benefits of gratitude. I have learned to test things out for myself before dismissing or taking them on, so the experimentation began.
As well as being thankful for meal times, I started to end my day with a reflection of the day and everything I was grateful for. This act saw a change in the way I saw my life. I started to see the good where once I had only ever honed in on the negative. I put this old perspective I had, down to perfection seeking, something I have well and truly let go of. I extended my gratitude practise to finding something to be grateful for when things became challenging. This is when I experienced the magic.
I remember occasions where the moment I found gratitude in an incredibly stressful situation, I noticed immediate relief. It was like the act of stopping and creating some space, actually shifted my whole thinking and perspective. I was able to step back and see the big picture and the benefits that would come from the lessons I was learning. This instantly cut through the pain and I was able to transcend that pain.
Once upon a time, I was incredibly negative. Everything was a struggle and I began to lose hope that I would ever find my way out, that life would become what I wanted it to be. It was the practice of gratitude which made all the difference as this was when I started to realise that life was actually working with and for me and not against me as I had previously believed.
You create what you focus your energy on and I can clearly see that I created my own horrors. We all face challenges in life but it is how you approach these challenges that can be the difference between your sinking or swimming. I never trusted that things would improve for me and for a time they didn’t. That is, until I shifted my focus. I stopped attaching my self worth to the mistakes I made or the challenges I faced or to what other people said or thought about me. I let go of all the worry and energy sapping thoughts and feelings I had had previously, which left me free to face challenges from a clean and clear space.
There is always something to be grateful for and you might wonder how this works for extreme circumstances? I don’t know what to say about that. I just know there are times when I really struggle to find it but I know it is there and I keep digging until I find it. This searching takes extending your vision of the situation out so that you can see the big picture. I have my vision of my future clear in my minds eye and I see that the struggles and challenges I face along the road are there to help me bring that vision to physical form. A challenge might be helping me attain the skill I need for something I desire for myself in the future. I trust, at the very least I am growing and becoming a better version of myself.
This is the other magical benefit of gratitude. I see that by being grateful for every step I overcome along the way, I am in fact reinforcing the desires I put out there and am putting even greater force behind them to bring them to be. There are an infinite number of ways to perceive a situation, a person, a place, a job, and you have to be willing to see the truth. This willingness opens up a whole new way of being. Try it for yourself. What have you got to be grateful for? Remember when things seem out of control and you feel like you are going to lose it, just stop, take a moment, take a deep breath, a couple if need be and think of something in the moment to be grateful for. See what happens?
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