What is gratitude?
Gratitude to me is looking at my world with a thankful lens. It is easy to get hung up on what is going wrong or hurdles in my life. But, to see what is amazing and beautiful sometimes takes a focused effort.
Zooming in close or going wide with a panoramic lens makes no difference to me. I am grateful for big and small blessings, and everything in between. The more I am grateful for, appreciate, and acknowledge... the more I find to express gratitude for.
It is the gift that keeps on giving.
Generally, I have found that when the times are hard, I am the most grateful for the overlooked things. Like the voice or hug of a loved one, to the excited tail wagging welcome home from my dog, to my thoughtful friend Theo, to the strength of my mom for being superhuman.
A week like this one has me thinking of so many things I appreciate and am grateful for. My mom has been diagnosed with cancer and the operation is in two days. The strength and poise in which she is facing this, showcases her grit.
One of her sisters and one of her brothers, along with her, were all diagnosed with different forms of cancer within a 15 month period of time. As well as suffering the loss of my grandmother in the same time span. It is incomprehensible.
As the hurdles of this week loom closer, fear is creeping in, but I'm also grateful for so much. I am attempting to focus on gratitude, and not on so many things that are out of my control and in doctors' hands.
I am thankful for my close family. I am grateful for the ability to write. I am thankful for the blueberries I ate for breakfast. I appreciate the strong women I have been blessed with in my life.
Gratitude is similar to a muscle: the more you use it the stronger it gets. It doesn't matter if you recite the things you are grateful for on your morning commute, write in a gratitude journal, write one thank you note a day for a year, or mention your thanks in prayer form at the end of the day. It only matters that you express your gratitude.
Can you name three things you are grateful for right now?