The Power of Gratitude

Photo by Jay Simmons

I cannot say how or when it began, but (somewhere along the way) the concept of gratitude seems to have lost its true meaning for too many of us.

Instead of nurturing the idea of gratitude as something powerful and heartwarming (something soothing and positive), we started using “thanks” as a preface to negativity.

Instead of saying, “Thank you, for everything you do!,” we started saying, “Thanks for nothing!”

Instead of “I’m so thankful that Dad’s surgery went well and he’ll be okay,” we say, “Thank God it didn’t kill him!”

Instead of “I’m so grateful  for my home . . . my family . . . my friends!,” we say, “I’ll be so glad when I get a bigger house . . . my family starts acting right . . . I have better friends!”

It is no wonder that we find it so very hard to take hold of happiness and embrace all of the good we have in our lives, at any given time.  Collectively, we have forgotten what a wonderful and joyful experience it is to feel deep and sincere gratitude.  Gratitude is a good thing; and we would all be better off if we started treating it that way . . . all of the time.

Gratitude is a powerful force.  When we truly feel grateful for anything . . . for anyone . . . we have this overarching sense of well-being – the sense that, despite everything else that might be going on in the world, we are going to be okay.  In fact, we’re going to be better than okay because we are just so grateful.  It is empowering to look at our lives and find so many things that make living, not only worthwhile, but a beautiful experience.

When we face the day with a gratitude attitude, we go out into this hectic and, at times, confusing world with a sense of calm and clarity that strengthens us.  When we see the glass as half full, we are not concerned about going thirsty.  When we see the brighter side, we are not worried about what lies in the darkness.  When we are grateful for all that we have in our lives, we live in abundance.

This week, I would like to challenge you to think . . . really think . . . about what gratitude means to you and look around you for as many things to be grateful for as possible.  Focus on the big things and the little things in your life that mean something to you, that you truly value, and for which you are honestly grateful.

Perhaps, you could make a list of 10 of those things, those people, those experiences for which you are thankful.  Look at it.  Spend some time savoring the feeling of gratitude as your thoughts pass over all the beauty and goodness you find in your life.

Doing this exercise will not take away anything in your life that you wish were different; but it will make you appreciate what it is that you have.  Notice how different things start to appear when you begin focusing on gratitude and the peace and joy that come with a grateful heart.  Hold on to that feeling and do it again tomorrow.

There is power in thought.  There is incredible power in gratitude.

Here is my list, for today, of 10 things I am so very grateful for in my life.

1.  I am grateful for the many friends and loved ones in my life.  I thank them all for loving me and allowing me to love them in return.

2.  I am grateful for the cozy little casita I live in.  It is a comfortable sanctuary and a peaceful abode.

3.  I am grateful for my Chihuahua, Lisa.  She’s cute; and she makes me laugh with her silliness.

4.  I am grateful that I always have food on my table.

5.  I am grateful for the positive response I receive to this blog.

6.  I am grateful for my Jeep Cherokee.  I call her Jessee.

7.  I am grateful for the magnificent view of the mountains that is just about everywhere I go, here in New Mexico.

8.  I am grateful for the fact that I am a dreamer.  I can look at almost any situation and see all its possibilities.

9.  I am grateful for the Hawaii Island Paradise video, which I found at the Dollar Tree and have watched no less than 100 times.  It takes me away to a peaceful place, near my beloved ocean, every time I watch it.

10.  I am grateful that, despite the fact it means so many different things to Us, we are still One Nation, Under God.

Have a blessed and wonderful day.  May your heart and your mind be filled with thoughts of gratitude today and every day.

©11/18/2012

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14 Comments

  1. I agree with you, that is why I try so hard to make sure mt gratitude come across loud and clear through this WP medium.
    Be blessed my friend.
    Benjamin

    Reply
    • And you do a good job of it, Benjamin! I love your work and what you share on your site. Keep letting your Glow Flow, my friend!
      Blessings, love, & light, Sloan

      Reply
  2. Beautiful thoughts on Gratitude! I am inspired to add a quote by Gilbert K. Chesterton ~
    “When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude”.

    Cheers & many good wishes coming your way!
    Dilip

    Reply
  3. I am “grateful” for this post. It is timely and insightful. The truth is most of us need so little and have so much. So many of us are only “grateful” for the gifts we receive when we are at or near rock bottom. Ironically, when we have abundance and should be most “grateful,” we tend to take what we have for granted, pine for things we want but do not need, and resent others who appear to have “more” that we do. If we could correct this misguided manner of thinking, then many of the social, political, and economic “woes” we face would be obviated.

    Reply
    • As always, thank you for your insightful comments. I recently heard someone suggest the concept of “Thanksliving.” That same speaker suggested that we can each help heal the planet by putting gratitude in action. We put gratitude in action by living our day-to-day lives in ways that demonstrate for others what it truly means to have a gratitude attitude and a thankful heart. It seems like there are more and more of us headed down the path of Thanksliving. And, for that, I am abundantly grateful. Namaste,
      Sloan

      Reply
  4. Professions for PEACE

     /  November 19, 2012

    This is such a wonderful post, Sloan, worthy of many a re-read. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely spirit and wise, kind heart with us all here. Namaste, Gina

    Reply
  5. Wonderful post, Sloan.

    Reply
  6. Great post Sloan! I am grateful for your warm thoughts and kind words on a regular basis! It is wonderful getting to know you.Thank you.

    Reply
    • I feel the same way. Your wisdom and insights are a constant source of inspiration for me. Be Blessed, my friend, today and every day! S

      Reply
  7. Sloan…I needed this post today!!! My car just broke down last night at the cost of $900.00 and at this moment not feeling gratitude☺☺ But after I read this…it all came back to me at once how much I have been blessed with. thank you.
    Blessings to you today my dear lady.
    Laurie

    Reply
    • Laurie, thank you so much for reading and commenting! I was in a similar situation last summer and know how frustrating it can be to deal with losing the use of a vehicle (and bearing the cost to fix or replace it). I’m sending positive energy, prayers, and white light your way — that this situation will be resolved quickly. Your positive attitude and grateful heart will surely speed the process!
      Many blessings to you!
      Sloan

      Reply

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