Gratitude – feeling thankful, not just saying the words
A word we associate with being happy, having inner peace, being a good person, living life in the moment. I have recently come across so many teachings, and quotes and essays on gratitude. They all say one thing…being grateful for what we have is what leads a person to a fulfilled life.
So why is it that we are all not living fulfilled lives? It seems quite simple as a concept. Look around, see what and who are present in your life, and simply be grateful. And you will be happy. Many find, it’s not such an easy thing to do. One reason is relativity, comparison, and maybe just too much information on “how to be happy” that is so easily accessible in today’s technology driven world. In fact, we use “thank you” so often that maybe the term itself has lost meaning, and is said more out of habit than any true significance
More often, people tend to take their lives for granted, they see what they have, but fail to pay attention. In doing this they dangerously walk a path towards losing the good in their lives, while focusing on the bad and they try to make changes and acquire new lives, to compensate their dissatisfaction. The journey feels like it is more tangible and focused on a specific objective. You identify something you believe you don’t have, take action and strive to attain it. This can be a thing, a relationship, a person in your life, or even a situation you want to live in, that is perceived as better and can give new satisfaction. But this is not always the healthy journey and can become an unending race towards an unreachable goal, leading to the person constantly running after what they perceive to be missing in their life and which they believe will take them to that sanctum of inner peace and happiness.
However, before identifying this new change that can bring a better life, there is a step that is vital in ensuring that the person is in fact on the right path. And this involves realizing and expressing gratitude for what already exists. An endeavour that takes self-learning and continued effort.
Gratitude is founded in self-evaluation. It is to truly understand the merits and demerits in a person’s life. These can take the form of family, love, materialistic gains, work, or simply the environment. Once a person is able to know and recognize themselves, who they are, they are able to have clarity on all the people and things in their life and to identify the ones that are harmful and the ones that give them their energy. It is only then that change can be put in place that will allow them to hold onto the good and remove the bad. And once that journey is initiated a person is able to truly be grateful for what they have. It is not so much gaining the new but truly seeing the existing.
So, yes, it is a simple concept but one that requires effort in the form of freeing the mind to see with clarity. It is this journey of understanding and being truthful to oneself that opens the door to real gratitude and finally to lasting happiness