Hello and welcome to Friday, February 7, 2020! This is a rare and precious day that will never come again.
One of the most important, helpful and beneficial practices that I have in my life is the one of cultivating gratitude. For this recovering materialist, it takes time and effort. Each morning, I do my best to take an accurate assessment of my current situation: for a few minutes I reflect on my one wild and precious life and write down a few things that I’m grateful for.
This is important to me because I’ve noticed that if I let this practice go or if I don’t frequently reflect on all the resources and opportunities that I currently have, it’s easy for me to take things for granted. Right up until the time that whatever I have is gone, I tend to forget they exist.
When I first started this practice, I listed things like having a home, car, food in a refrigerator, running water, the capacity to travel, a loving family and friends, and, my sobriety. This last one is most important! On the mornings that I look a little deeper, I write down my gratitude for having developed a positive outlook and for my education and teachers who have helped me to become a better person. And if I look even deeper, I list how difficult people and situations are opportunities for my growth and how they help me to become the best version of myself possible.
Most recently, I’ve learned that there are other things that we don’t have that we should most definitely be grateful for. We can cultivate immeasurable gratitude by calling to mind situations that could be happening but are not happening.
How often are we grateful that we don’t have a toothache; didn’t get food poisoning; didn’t step in dog poo walking through a park; buried broken glass didn’t cut our bare foot walking on the beach; our zipper didn’t break; didn’t get stuck in traffic (remember – we are traffic); didn’t get a flat tire; our electricity didn’t go out; a pipe didn’t freeze, burst and flood our home; a faulty electrical outlet didn’t catch fire; the elevator didn’t get stuck; didn’t receive news that a family member or friend was hurt or killed in an accident? It’s typically not until these things happen that we are reminded that they actually can and do happen! If we reflect on our life, we’ll likely find that rarely do these difficult and trying situations occur. Although our unruly mind may try to convince us otherwise, for much of our life, we are not faced with significant challenges.
As many of you know, a couple weeks ago I caught a flu bug. When we are healthy, how often are we grateful for the fact that we don’t have the flu? It’s easy to forget the that we are healthy until either we get sick or are reminded because someone else does. And when we are reminded that we are not sick when we come across an ill friend, we tend to be not be grateful for being healthy. Instead of fortifying our health with gratitude, we weaken our immune system stressing over and fearing that we might get sick.
If we objectively examine where our feet are in any given moment, most of the time we are not being challenged except for what our mind is ruminating on. In no way am I discounting the concerning illnesses, challenges, oppression and suffering happening around the world. I’m simply suggesting taking an accurate assessment of your current situation, in this moment.
The fact is, each one of us could create an extensive gratitude list right here and meow of all the things that we have in our life. But if we think about gratitude from the perspective of all the difficult and trying things that we are not currently experiencing, we can clearly see that there is so much more to be grateful for. I have discovered that there is much more that I don’t have that I can be grateful for than the things that I do have.
So, thanks for nothing!
I love you and there isn’t anything that you can do about it!
With Gratti Atti Attitude,
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