Quite some time ago, I gained an understanding about the importance of gratitude. It is amazing what happens to our view of the world when we acquire an attitude of gratitude and begin to look at the world through its eyes. It seems as if the more one finds to be grateful for, the more you see things for which to give thanks. It is this ever-growing experience. Being mindful of one thing for which to give thanks seems to give birth to some other thing for which to give thanks, which gives birth to something else and so on and so on.
On those days when I find myself going through something, I remember the words of my Bubby (Yiddish for grandmother) who would tell me when you could find the blessing in a situation, good or bad; you know you are going to be ok. This has become so important for me in my personal life, especially since Friday when we received the diagnosis of Zoë’s breast cancer. We have begun focusing on the positives and the blessings that come out of this diagnosis. One thing Zoë spoke about was being grateful my health coverage provides domestic partnership coverage. We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from friends and family. the more we focused on all that we had to be grateful for, the more we realized how we were not going through this alone and how we were surrounded by a circle of love, light, and positive energy.
If you do not think this simple shift in attitude makes a difference, then try this. Think of one nice thing that happened today that you could be thankful for and notice how you feel as you dwell on it. Now, think of a yucky thing that made you sad, angry, upset, or fearful and notice how you feel as you dwell on it. Which one made you smile? Which one made you feel uplifted? Which one made you feel heavy? Which one made you feel light? Which feeling are you going to choose to focus on, those, which made you smile and make you feel light and uplifted, or those that depress you and weigh you down.
If we want this world to be a better place, let’s begin by focusing on all that we have to be thankful and grateful for. The more times you are in a state of joy, love, peace and light, the more opportunities you have to spread those feelings and share with others. Before you know it this positive energy begins spreading. Positive energy can be contagious and spread quickly.
For some, adopting this attitude at first may be a conscious decision. That is ok. So try this adopt an attitude of gratitude today and see what happens in your life. Then tomorrow, choose to wear that attitude again and keep choosing to do so until it becomes as natural to you as breathing.