It’s just gone 8.30pm and as I type this, my darling hubby is cooking in the kitchen. I only got home half an hour ago after a rather long day in the office. When I came in, tired and hungry, I found him on the sofa, snoring away and hugging Winnie the Pooh…Any mild disappointment at him not having dinner ready immediately vanished upon seeing him there – especially holding Pooh Bear. Here was my wonderful man who today would have worked hard fixing people’s telecom problems, done a round of washing, taken our boy to nursery and collected him again at the end of the day, played with him, fed him, bathed him and then tidied away all but this little stuffed bear. As I stood watching him, he soon woke up then immediately got up, kissed me hello and headed to the kitchen to begin making our food. How lucky am I? Very.
You know, I think Pooh had it right; I love how he always has a warm chuckle for what is happening around him. Even when it’s raining, there’s fun to be had under those drops of blue. He just seems grateful for the little things in life. Perhaps overused, I do love the phrase: an attitude of gratitude. Firstly because it does rhyme rather well, but also because feeling gratitude is indeed an attitude or approach to life. It is something that takes a little practice I think; a way of being that one needs to be present to. When I feel gratitude, I am in a place of real appreciation, a place of having, rather than not-having. The glass is half full, not half empty. I can smile as I walk down the road, whatever the weather, just knowing that I have so much to be thankful for. When I’m feeling grateful, there is literally a warm glow on the inside. As William Wordsworth said, “All that we behold is full of blessings.”
The wonderful thing about gratitude is that it can literally bring more good stuff your way. I really feel that by embracing the life you have, including the not-so-good-stuff, means that you’re loving it anyway. Actually, that’s another good phrase: Love it anyway. I got that from a great little manual I ready many years ago called ‘The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment’ by Thaddeus Golas. If you are feeling the love for whatever comes to you, whatever you are doing, you’re vibrating the kind of energy that will attract that same kind of energy. I’m not going to get into Law of Attraction right now but I’m sure you get the picture. Feeling grateful for what I have – a roof over our heads, the love of good friends and family, a job, food in my belly, amazing music, a crisp sunny morning where the frost sparkles, a smile from a commuter, a new word from my child – can make me feel more whole. So, when something comes along to add to my life, that’s exactly what it does – it enhances, ameliorates and betters where I am.
I appreciate that being grateful when life doesn’t appear to be working can be much harder. But think back to when you’ve had tough times…did you learn some valuable lessons? Was there actually a silver lining? Did you take a different path than one you had planned because things went awry? Even if you can’t be fully present to that gratitude in the most difficult of times, take a moment to be grateful for where you are now because of the sum parts of those experiences.
I rather like what Oprah says about gratitude: "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."