Is happiness possible in today’s world of political battles, mass murders and untimely death from horrific diseases? As I write about gratitude and happiness I am sometimes accused of being “out there” new age style or having my head in the sand like an ostrich. But without a single hesitation and doubt I can tell you that the practice of gratitude can change your personal world and the way you live. This beautiful scene is an example. I am extremely grateful to have experienced this view not once but twice this summer. One time with the love of my life and another with my beloved parents and brother. It is a breathtaking scene looking out over Lake Erie. Through the practice of gratitude (putting at least three things daily on a scrap of paper and saving) I experienced revelation and epiphany Here are my top ten plus one:
- It’s hard to be grateful for only three things per day as my cup is overflowing with thankfulness and blessings. 2. My life is still imperfect (financial stress, hearing loss, vision loss, shots in my hip joints, sick and hurting family, loss etc.) but there is still a lot to be grateful for. 3. I feel more sympathy and empathy for others than ever before (the killings, the holocaust events that are going on in other countries, the diseases and suffering.) 4. I have never felt closer to God. 5. My marriage is better than it has ever been! 6. I sleep soundly and wake up refreshed. 7. Experiences make me happy, materialism never has. 8. We probably only have 20 years left in our marriage due to our ages and mortality statistics. I strive to not waste one minute on anything that is not love based. 9. Gratitude has greatly nurtured my attitude as I no longer feel angry, bitter, depressed and distressed. 10. Even in our darkest hour or worst moment that are many things to be grateful for. Plus one: 11. I used to over- complicate a lot of my life striving for perfection. Nothing on this earth that I can impact is perfect.
I hope you will join me in a practice of gratitude. A journal, a jar, a bowl or a box. Scraps of precious paper that hold your prayers of thanksgiving.