This post is being published one week and one day from Thanksgiving.
And I’d like you, whenever you read this, to make a point of injecting more gratitude into your life. Don’t just be thankful for a few things, but develop a practice of deep gratitude.
One of the reasons why gratitude is important?
Gratitude steals back our joy.
Gratitude is the Robin Hood of mindsets. Some person in your world swoops in and thieves your joy. He might not even know he was stealing anything from you. That’s how good he is. You’re left disappointed and frustrated.
Or circumstances. Oh goodness. Circumstances can don their ski masks and sneak in the back door, find your safe, rob your joy blind and be gone before you know it, leaving you crumpled in despair like an unfolded pile of laundry.
Gratitude – the good, deep kind of gratitude – can be the counter-attack you need to steal back your joy from these thieves.
Consistent thankfulness is not only a high-quality security system to prevent thefts, but it is also the detective that tracks down the culprits and brings them to justice, delivering your joy back to you.
Gratitude Reframes People and Circumstances
The pleasant thing is that not only will gratitude steal back your joy, it’ll also help change your perspective.
That person who ‘stole’ your joy? You might see him or her differently after your dive deep into thankfulness.
That circumstance that you thought was so bad, that you blamed for the misery of your past 24 hours, week, month, year, lifetime… you might see that thing differently too.
When we start small, thanking God for our very breath, we give change a real chance – in our hearts and in our minds and spirits.
You thank Him for your breath. Then you thank Him for whatever health you have. Then you thank Him for a friend or family member or colleague. Or you find something else if you truly are alone.
Then you find something in your home to be thankful for. Or something outside in your yard or community. Or an act of kindness that you witness. You thank God for a characteristic in your heart that you love. You excavate your own dang self and find the goodness there. Even if you’ve been a dirty rat, start with gratitude that you know you’re a dirty rat and you can start changing.
And you keep going. Little stuff. Big stuff. Gratitude. Not denial. That’s not gratitude. But you can have a deep gratitude in the face of anything – people in debilitating circumstances have been living lives of gratitude for generations
All the sudden, the thieves aren’t thieves anymore. They are opportunities.
Joy slowly comes back.
This doesn’t mean you’ve settled all the ills in your life. You might still be in debt. You might still have an estranged family member. You might still have health issues.
The key thing to remember?
Those things weren’t changing without gratitude anyway, were they? Now, at least, you’re in a better mood. Your heart and mind are more open to problem-solving. Your new attitude might actually pave the way for change and health in any number of ways.
Give it a shot. Try gratitude. Dig deep and start finding things to be thankful for.
If you’re a person of faith, start sharing these things with God. He’d appreciate it.
Join me over on the Simply in the Suburbs Facebook Page or anywhere out there and post what you’re #SimplyThankful for. Drop me a note and let me know if you join in.