I live in gratitude
I have been pondering this affirmation all day and I feel ill-equipped to adequately express my thoughts and feelings. I looked for just the right experience to illustrate it but there where too many to count. I continue to struggle on how to put it all together so instead of pretending to have any answers I am just going to share. I do it with the hope that I can keep learning and figuring it out as I go.
Cultivating gratitude is central to my ability to develop resilience and reach my full potential. My misunderstanding of this concept has frequently been a stumbling block in the progress towards my goals. I have sometimes misunderstood being grateful as the happiness that comes from external circumstances. When something extraordinarily good happens I can often feel grateful for that blessing. If I am struggling through something difficult I might feel gratitude if some form of help comes. My gratitude was temporary and based on an unexpected windfall or relief from pain. This is not the gratitude that I want to have.
True gratitude is the result of proper perspective. This shift in perspective no longer takes anything for granted or bases being grateful on whether circumstances have climbed above an unconscious baseline of expectation. It flows from within and sees purpose, beauty, and opportunity in all things. When gratitude shifts from being an emotion derived externally to an attitude cultivated internally it can transform pain into wisdom, lack to sufficiency, coincidence to purpose, and the darkness of despair to the light of hope.
This attitude of gratitude allows me to see how each struggle teaches me and that nothing is wasted. I turn from self-seeking to walking with hands outstretched to others. I embrace my experiences and let the desire to control slip away. It is an attitude I need if I am to become what I was meant to be.
"To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven" T.S. Monson