It’s something that not everyone is conscious about and even those of us who are, don’t always express it or are evenly consciously aware of it all the time. It’s gratitude.
A while back, I was keeping a gratitude journal. It was just a book to keep my thoughts of what I’m grateful for. Then it became routine and to be honest, I struggled with coming up with new things every day to be grateful for. It wasn’t that I wasn’t grateful. The things I’m actually most grateful are some of the most common things in my life, like waking up, breathing, having a home, a vehicle, a great husband. These are things that are easy to take for granted but it doesn’t mean I’m not grateful. Consequently, the gratitude journal fell by the wayside.
Yes, I’ve gone through periods of very high stress, I’ve battled with mild depression and have allowed myself to spiral into some pretty bad places. My life has not been all roses and sunshine (like who’s ever has been?) but I admit it has been much easier than a lot others and I have no idea why. For that, I am incredibly grateful.
Is it because I keep a positive attitude and refuse to get sucked into the “whoa is me” attitude? Probably. Is it because bad things don’t ever happen to me? Definitely not. Is it because I stay aware of how good my life is and stay grateful for everything and everyone in it? Most likely.
Is it always easy to stay grateful? Hell no! There have been times in my life where I wanted to crawl under a rock. I seriously questioned how much more I could take. But I kept moving forward, refused to give into that dark place for very long and stayed grateful for everything in my life … the good, the bad and the ugly.
What am I grateful for? My health, husband, home, business, my “family” who consist mostly of friends who genuinely care about my happiness and with no expectations from me. I’m grateful that I have a part time job at a local health store to not only help me financially as I build this business but I learn so much and I get to meet such awesome people and I’m able to help people. I’m grateful I have the ability to walk unassisted. I’m grateful for so many things in my life. I’m even grateful for the challenges because although they are scary and difficult to GO through, they’re what I GROW through.
So who am I grateful to? That’s a loaded question. I am far from religious. I have been in the past and it caused a LOT of grief in my life so I removed myself from that environment. I am however very spiritual and I fully believe that there is a higher power of some type that helps guide us. I refer to it as the Universe. And it is amazing how the Universe will conspire to help you, guide you, make a success of you if you will let it. How do you do that? By listening, staying open and looking fear right in the eyes and not backing down from it.
Do you realize that every time you do something that scares you, you’re building strength? Since I left my cushy corporate job to become a solopreneur, I have at times been stressed out, scared, intimidated and completely freaked out. But I never quit. I have pushed things back. I’ve procrastinated. But eventually, I tackle what I need to and in the process I’ve gotten so much stronger … so much more capable.
If you’re struggling with finding peace and happiness, might I be so bold as to suggest that you just take some quiet time and think of all the things you are grateful for. And yes … that includes the bad stuff too … because it’s during the bad times that we grow and stretch and discover what we’re made of.
Sending you much love and gratitude and wishing you all the very best of life.
Sandy O’Shea, CNP