What causes us to be grateful? Gratitude is our response when we receive a gift. Gratitude comes when we reach a goal. Gifts, acts of kindness, a sense of accomplishment, recognition: all produce gratitude.
Life is filled with enough disappointments. People can deliberately or inadvertently hurt us. In both instances, we become discouraged, and if rehearsed can turn into bitterness. If defeat is compounded by defeat upon defeat, then we become so negative that we cannot see anything positive. If we are hurt over and over again, we grow to expect it and are blinded to the good in others.
I had the opportunity to meet Zig Ziglar before he passed away. One of the first things he showed me was his gratitude wall. He told me everyone on that wall did something good for him. Some did it by being critical. Some did it by praising. I was amazed that on his gratitude wall were people who had been critical and hurt him. His gratitude wall kept him from becoming bitter.
So, I was thinking about gratitude and how it can help me, us, keep from letting hurt and disappointments become permanent fixtures in our thinking. It is so easy to fixate on the hurts and disappointments. It is easy to tell and retell them. The rehearsal of them embeds them in our thinking. Why not make a choice to be filled with gratitude?
See, both are choices. We make a choice to let the hurts and disappointments cause us to see everything as dark. We make that choice. We also can choose to be grateful for everything that happens to us. Gratitude erases the hurt and disappointment. It is hard to be grateful and disappointed at the same time.
I am one of the most blessed people of all. My problem is I have a hard time nurturing the gratitude to keep me from the dark places. It is so easy to drift toward them. Gratitude shines the light on all that is good. We all have that good in our lives. Life is so much easier and enjoyable when gratitude fills my heart. So why not determine to be more grateful every day? I am going to try hard.