Live your life on purpose . . .

Friday, November 18, 2011

Having an Attitude of Gratitude

It's that time of year again when we reflect on the many things for which we are most thankful. Traditionally, we gather at the table with family and friends to enjoy a meal together and, hopefully, to express appreciation for the bounty in our lives. Although I don't object to such practice, why must we be prompted by a holiday -- a mere date on our calendars -- to voice our gratitude? Shouldn't this be a daily part of our life, this giving thanks for all we have, for all we are? In the busyness of living, it's sometimes hard to find the time to contemplate the beauty of our world and the gift of our very existence. But the truth is, no matter what hardships may come our way, we are all loved by our Creator and called into fellowship with one another. This is universal, and this is something for which we can all be grateful. Starting at this point and then continuing to make an effort to find one or more blessings each day can become a habit. Pretty soon, this simple exercise may develop into an attitude of gratitude. You may notice that your heart is lighter, your relationships better, and your overall health is much improved. All this from simply choosing to be thankful.

So what comes to mind when you are counting your blessings? A safe and comfortable place to live and work? The company of others who care about you? Specific freedoms you enjoy? Whatever it is that most appreciate, begin to make a conscious effort to express gratitude for it every day. Let others know that you love them, share your blessings with as many people as you can, and try as best as you can to live in contentment with what you have been given in life. If it helps, you might want to consider keeping a journal of sorts where you can record your thanks. Periodically reviewing what you have written down might even lift your spirits during difficult times and help you to focus on something positive.

Whatever you decide, begin now. Don't let another Thanksgiving go by without making a permanent change in being more mindful of the love, goodness, and providence in your life. You will find that, once you begin, there are more blessings in your life than you will be able to count!

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