Learning Gratitude Takes Practice

January 30, 2018

Learning Gratitude Takes Practice

There’s so much talk about finding that extraordinary love of our life. Maybe everything we need to know about romantic love can be learned from our friends.

We don’t expect our friends to change our life and make everything that’s wrong, right. We just expect them to be who they are, and then we let them be that. It’s part of being a friend.

We don’t expect to like everything about our friends. We know they have defects of character. They do things occasionally that irritate us.

We don’t expect our friends to entertain and amuse us, keeping us laughing and smiling all the time. We let them go through their ups and downs. Sometimes we just sit in silence with our friends, and we each keep our thoughts to ourselves.

“My relationship is on the rocks. My finances could be a lot better. And this house I live in, well it’s the worst. Wouldn’t I be happier somewhere else? Let me think, where would that magical place of happiness be? One thing’s for sure. It’s not where I am.”

Can you hear yourself in these words? It is easy to look around and see all that is wrong. Life can be irritating, less than we hoped for, and sometimes it really hurts.

“I want something,” a woman said to me one day. “I just don’t know what it is. But one thing I do know is I don’t have it right now.”

“The grass is always greener on the other side” is an old cliché, but it isn’t true. The grass right where you are, no matter where that place is, is just as green as it is anywhere else. And if it’s not green or it’s all dried up, maybe it’s because you’re not watering it enough.

Those moments that surpass our wildest expectations are fleeting and rare. People, places, and circumstances that don’t measure up to our hopes abound. Learning to want what you have and be where you are is an art. So is learning how to get to wherever you’re going to.

Here’s the secret. You’re a magician, a wizard. You can turn present situations into something better. Point your magic wand. Now say “thank you” for everything exactly as it is.

People tell us to count our blessings. The problem is, when we’re depressed, we don’t feel blessed. Learning an attitude of gratitude takes practice and effort. It’s the key to being happy in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.

Value: Whether we call it a feeling, an attitude, or an action we take, gratitude is the value we’ll look at and practice this week.

From the desk of Melody Beattie
Originally posted December 21, 2014

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