Sunday, January 27, 2013

An attitude of graititude

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


  1. I think the "unconscious baseline of expectation" sentence is spot-on. People who study happiness suggest that we very rapidly re-set our baselines, so that good things--like promotions at work, or marriage--don't give us more than a "bump" of happiness.

    Very good post. Mark P.

  2. I have a true gratitude of my brothers. They allow me to be open and honist with then and when I am beating around the bush they call me out on it. They are great men that have attitudes that match the gratitude I have for them. There brotherhood has inpacted me and me family dearly thank you so very much.

    Good post

  3. Amen! This is right on... I find it easier to bring gratitude to my day (and to my circumstances) if I'm able to find the joy or lesson in what is going on. It's "easy" to be grateful when things are going your way, but to find things to be grateful for when you've had a rough day and just want to curl under the covers? That, for me, is when I have to dig deep and am reminded of the power of accepting what is.

    Thank you again for a great post.


  4. Wonderful comments, thank you all for sharing!

  5. Gratitude is joy. Joy is gratitude.