Sunday, 22 January 2012

Being grateful

Not something that comes easily for most British people, and I dare say most people in the Western world. The culture in the UK is definitely more on the side of complaining than being grateful. We see things as a God-given right rather than a privilege.

It's not easy to be un-influenced by your culture, which is orientated towards possessions, achievement, money and relationships. Being thankful for basic things such as breathing, health, family ... well I guess many people are but, certainly my tendency is to focus on what I don't have, on my frustrations, my life situation and get despondent about it. I find being grateful difficult. It's one thing to say that you are grateful for something, but to actually mean it from your heart is quite another.


I think most of us would actually like to be more appreciative of what we have. It gets tiresome complaining about things. But how can we really go about doing this when our life is not going so well? It's very easy to be grateful when things are going well, but not so easy when your life situation is less than ideal. The ego part of us does not want to be grateful. Today, I didn't feel like being grateful. I have had some difficult feelings come up today, possibly because I've been on my own and seen other people either with partners or friends. Loneliness can be horrible. And facing your feelings and fears about loneliness is not necessarily comfortable.

A second walk of the day did help (I hate being stuck at home all day and being able to get outdoors is very important to me, even in slightly rough weather). I could be grateful for that. I am a bit. But I still feel more pissed off with life than grateful, at this moment .. I don't always feel like this, and the fact that it's winter doesn't help .. winter is a difficult season for many. I'm not saying that we should be grateful for everything or ignore the difficulties that we face. But I think it's important to be in a place where we are more grateful than pissed off, more happy than unhappy.

I don't claim to be an expert on how to do this nor do I have any right to. But I think the following things may help both me and other people:

Start small - Going from a place of despondency to pure happiness isn't likely to happen. Being thankful for one thing, over a period of time, will make you a more grateful person. If you find it difficult to find something, ask your subconscious mind - you will always find something to be grateful for, whether it be a family member, your health, your job, your house etc. I think writing down something you are grateful for will be helpful too. I can certainly find plenty of things - I think the one I'm going to start with is that I'm grateful for getting a second chance at life. Be thankful every day for a period of a month or so for one thing - and soon you will probably find more things to be grateful for.

Believe that gratitude will change you for the better - I've read several affirmations/statements which say that gratitude can pull you out of a difficult situation and change your life. I've no reason to disbelieve this. Having the intention to be a grateful person, not just because you want your life situation to get better, but because, ultimately, we are designed to be grateful people rather than complainers, will change you in some way - it may not turn your life around in the way you would like, but it will change you as a person. And most if not all of us want to change for the better..

Read positive, uplifting literature - We are far too influenced by the media and the news in this country, and most of the news is pretty depressing. Avoid these things as much as you can and find something that will be a positive influence. There are plenty of resources on the Internet. It's hard to stay positive with all the pressures of life and work being as they are nowadays. It's important to keep your mind healthy and reading good literature such as Louise Hay does make a difference.

Don't be too hard on yourself - This is for me as much as anyone, because I can be very hard on myself. It's more important to be aware of how you are feeling rather than getting things right all the time. Every wise person mentions that there will be times when you fail.

I think there might be more on this subject to follow at a later stage. Until later....




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