What challenges do you face in generating feelings of gratitude?
There’s a reason “Thou shalt not covet” is one of the Ten Commandments. Comparing ourselves to others is a sure fire way to stir up feelings of discontentment. For that matter, comparisons are a key component in most political campaigns. I wonder why? Could it be contention and a battle mentality, both of which foster an “us against them” mentality, create ideal conditions for politicians to inflame their most reliable voters or influence those most easily won over by pandering?
Whenever we are angry, discontent, agitated, or contentious, we are mentally football fields away from the calm, wise-mind centered place we must be in order to feel the calming presence of gratitude. It is maddeningly easy to lose perspective once a greedy, covetousness besets us. Once those feelings are planted in our hearts, gratitude must leave. It cannot find space within a heart mired in negative emotions.
To stay orientated around positive belief, I must daily remind myself how blessed I am. To live in America is something for which millions around the world would give their eye-teeth. To be in a stable marriage with a good, successful spouse with happy, healthy kids (both moving towards successful launches) is unheard of in large swaths of humanity. To have safe drinking water, multiple vehicles, electronics, heat and air on demand, indoor plumbing, electricity available all day, every day…the list goes on! My blessings are myriad.
Of course, I could play the “Yes, but…” or the “If only…” games, but why? Why should I care about whose house is nicer, bigger, decorated with more pizzazz, or who drives a new car every other year? Why? So, I can start envying? What benefit is envy to me? Does it bring my closer to God, to Christ? Does it make my relationships better? The answer is a resounding ‘no.’ So, why go there, particularly when “here” is enough?
Day 3: What ONE thing are you grateful for today?
This is simple: I made it to my second yoga class in a week!
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