Gratitude is the act of deep appreciation for the life we have been given. It gives us a chance to give thanks for the things that make our life special. For you, perhaps that is a walk through the woods on a sunny day. Sitting by the edge of Lake Tahoe like I am doing while writing this. Hearing something funny or poignant that your child said, or your dog did. Whatever it is, it is the process of having gratitude in your heart that is your reward.
Our lives are never perfect, but most likely if we think about it, we have a lot to be thankful for. First, of course, is that we are alive and have eyes to read this sentence. We have people to love that love us. We can laugh in the face of our foibles.
While life sometimes smacks us down: Relationship problems, kid problems, sibling problems, financial problems, health problems…need I go on, or are you already shaking your head and wondering when this guy is going to get back to the good stuff… you know the gratitude?
Well, it turns out, those who really get this gratitude stuff are the folks who have been through a lot of bad stuff. Talk to a cancer survivor about how much gratitude they have for sitting in a field of wildflowers and looking up at a waterfall. It’s the person who has lost someone close to them, that truly feels the appreciation for their friends and relatives that are still here.
Gratitude all comes back to understanding what is really important in life. Expressing gratitude verbally or in writing is a way to remind ourselves we are alive. The world is an amazing place, no matter what all those people say on Facebook, and having gratitude for all the gifts we are given is the way to truly enjoy our lives.
By Tim Hauserman