The Power Of Gratitude
Sometimes it’s easy to be grateful, isn’t it? Recently I have moved into my lovely new home for which I will be forever grateful – we love it! And it’s been my amazing other half’s 60th Birthday (Chippy aka Mr C), and my Dads 80 th. I am very grateful to have both in my life, and my Mum and my sister of course.
These “occasions” are big things, and they give us a pause in time and make it easy to see what we should be grateful for.
It’s a bit harder to be grateful when things don’t look so rosy.
Many people fall into a victim mentality when something ‘goes wrong’ and start feeling sorry for themselves and blaming other people. People need someone to blame. And it’s understandable. When something goes wrong – especially if it is a BIG something – then it’s OK to be sad, or disappointed or even angry. But don’t stay there.
Because none of those emotions is helpful – to your mental or physical health.
It might be easy to think “poor me” or “that’s so unfair” or “I did nothing to deserve that”. I know – that used to be me. Whenever anything would go wrong, I would feel sorry for myself, think how horrible the other person was, and usually drown my sorrows in a bottle.
That got me a long way.
You see – the time when it is critical to be grateful is usually the exact time when it is hard to be.
Let’s start with something small.
Someone cuts you up in a car. Your natural reaction might be to think – “what an idiot” or make a rude gesture – or shout a swear word. This might momentarily make you feel better, as you were “in the right”, and even if no-one else saw it, at least YOU can tell yourself you were right and the other guy was a plonker.
But, wait a minute.
You see, you can’t be in his shoes, right? Maybe he was rushing to his Mothers house because she called him to say she had fallen. Perhaps he was driving his pregnant wife (in the back seat) to hospital to give birth. It could just be he was late for work. Whatever the reason, chances are very high that he didn’t do it to annoy you.
And even if he did, you have a choice about whether to get annoyed or not. Because all the time you are mad or in victim mode, there are chemicals coursing around your body doing damage. As well as choosing whether to be annoyed or not, you also have the choice of whether to be grateful or not.
‘Hang on a minute Chez, are you losing the plot? How can you be grateful when someone cuts you up? What are you being grateful for?’ I hear you say.
Well, here’s the thing. I believe the universe has a plan for us. I know that everything is connected. So maybe you were in that exact spot at that exact time so that it could be YOU he cut up and not the guy who it would have started a road rage incident with. Maybe it was the universe telling YOU to slow down. Perhaps if he hadn’t done what he did, you would have been in the wrong place at the wrong time on your journey.
And HERE is where you have a choice.
You can get annoyed, call him a w****r, and drive on feeling justified at your reaction. Or you can choose to wish him well, send him positive energy, and thank the universe that you are healthy, that you have a car to drive and that you are a careful driver.
Let’s look at something bigger.
Last year when the landlord of my beautiful converted barn, told me he was not renewing the lease, and then when we encountered all sorts of obstacles to buying the place (which at the time was the home of my dreams) I initially went a little bit into victim mode, if I am honest. Not for long. But I did. And as a result, I felt stuck and sad.
Then I made a decision, to be actively grateful to the universe for this opportunity to grow, and to trust the Universe had my back. And here we are, not many months later, in an absolutely amazing home, better even than the last.
You see, when you are grateful for everything – even the bad things – life gets easier. That doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be happy when you are sad, gratitude can happen alongside happiness or sadness. And it is a choice, one I think everyone should try – for 2 main reasons.
Firstly, if you don’t perceive the bad things as bad things, then they have no power over you. You see circumstances are just that – circumstances. Things happen. Usually, there is no bad intention behind the ‘bad things’ that happen – that only happens in your perception.
Secondly, when you let go and trust, and be really and truly grateful – it’s like a megaphone shouting to the universe – “MORE OF THAT PLEASE”, and guess what happens. Yep, more of that good stuff.
Even when things seem really really bad, you can find something you can be grateful for – a warm house, a working kettle, the birds singing, the love of a dog or a child.
And if you can’t find anything – please, please reach out to someone and tell them how you feel. Your family, your friends, a work colleague, me!
Because I know – if you focus on gratitude things change.
If you are in our group, you will know that sometimes things are easier with support and a team around you who have your back. If you aren’t in our group but you would like to be – email me on email@example.com and we can sort that out.
Thank you for reading, and speak to you soon