Is gratitude possible when you feel you have nothing?


I’m on a gratitude kick. Gratitude is possibly the most important ingredient in withdrawal and recovery, let alone LIFE ITSELF. It is a measure of maturity, and it is a strengthening tool that creates within you a more positive perspective of the world.

When we are grateful, we are able to get out of our heads and out of our suffering Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, we focus on what we do have–our strengths, our gifts, our situation in life.

And just as suffering is all relative (meaning a person with a splinter can feel the same pain as a person who lost his leg, depending on his PERSPECTIVE), gratitude is all relative also, based on PERSPECTIVE. For example, a woman who makes $8,000 a year and has a child to support can be just as grateful for her beautiful life as someone who makes $100,000 a year. How is that possible?

How is one man’s trash, another man’s treasure? How is the glass half empty when the same glass to someone else is half full?

Perspective.

My point: gratitude comes from your ability to perceive things, it doesn’t come from “reality.” It is not based on what you actually have versus what you don’t. It is simply based on how you perceive what have and what you don’t. If all you’ve got is a roof over your head, then your perception of your situation can either be one of two things.

Here’s a SAME EXACT HOUSE SCENARIO, with two different perspectives:
1.) I am grateful for this roof over my head. Period. I will get the leaks fixed. Not everyone is sleeping in a warm bed tonight, but I am. And for that, I have want of nothing more. I am very lucky.
or
2.) I only have a roof over my head. I have nothing else. And it’s a small roof and it’s leaking. THere’s a whole world out there of bigger and better houses and I’m jealous of those more fortunate that me. My life is very unlucky.

So, what are you grateful for? All or part of your life? Do you feel as though you should have certain things in your life that you don’t? Are you focused on what you could be, what you could have? Or are you grateful for what’s right in front of you? Think about what your perception of your world is and how you can CHOOSE to make it positive or negative. YOu can CHOOSE to be happy with what you’ve got, or miserable about what you haven’t got.

Unsolicited advice: Being grateful takes time and EFFORT. You don’t just wake up one morning and you’re grateful. You build on an idea, whether you believe it or not. And then you start to train your brain to think in new, more positive ways. Keep a gratitude journal. Start every morning off writing 3 things you are grateful for and WHY. Don’t forget the WHY. The more you develop your gratitude for small things, the more your gratitude grows!

So, the next time you flip out and think it’s the end of the world because the PoA didn’t call, try to put things in *perspective.* Think of the man with no arms and no legs. How on earth can he be so happy? He has no right. Think of the mother whose child is kidnapped  and sold to become a child soldier at the age of 8.  Think of the father who loses his son to drugs. Or the woman who is stricken with brain cancer and given 3 months to live and say goodbye to her family and friends. The more you put your own life into perspective, the more you are capable of truly understanding gratitude, and being happy within yourself. Love addiction and the personal suffering you endure because of it, almost becomes a luxury when you think of what others are dealing with. 

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