Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Heart Filled with Gratitude

Open journal and red rose

Gratitude is so much more than just a word on a greeting card.

As a way of life, it brings quality living, joy, and peace. If only we could know, while young, the importance of having gratitude, life would be so much easier. In my own life, however, it took decades of living to hone this precious skill.

One of my favorite authors, Sarah Ban Breathnach, who wrote "Simple Abundance" (Warner Books, 1995) is one of my life mentors who taught me about gratitude. She wrote "reading books changes lives" in her foreward to "Simple Abundance." Well, her book certainly changed mine and continues to do so.

In her book, which is a daily must-read on my bedside table, Sarah recommends keeping a Gratitude Journal. She mentions the age-old spiritual law "the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you." Put to the test, this spiritual law becomes reality.

I have kept a Gratitude Journal for a long time now. Each night, before going to bed, I write down as many things as possible that I am thankful for that day. It might be simple things, like seeing the morning sunlight filter through the trees in our backyard. Upstairs in my tiny but window-filled office, I can see the spectacular sight whenever the sun shines. Not only am I grateful to see such splendor, my heart also feels deep gratitude for the gift of sight. It's unimagineable to fathom life without eyesight. To be able to see is one of the greatest gifts I've been given in life.

Each night, I am usually able to write down at least 10 things I'm grateful for that day. It might be a greeting card from a dear friend in another state or a great find in a thrift store! (Like so many others, I simply love thrift store shopping. It's like going treasure-hunting! Anytime I'm able to find time to go, I'm grateful!)

I often repeat having gratitude for my husband, my "forever" love. He's stuck by me through all of life's peaks and valleys and I cannot imagine life without him.

It stands to reason I'm grateful for my grown-up son and daughter and now,their life mates.

Faithful friends who have enhanced my life continuously surface in my journal. Friendships are a tremendous gift since "no man is an island." Whenever I can share certain aspects of my life with another person, I feel so grateful that I am not alone.

Honey Cat, an Arizona feline who moved with us from the desert to the "Arctic tundra" of New England, often shows up in my gratitude journal.

As soon as one of my journals is filled to the brim, onto a shelf in my home library it goes and then I pull down an empty one. I always feel grateful be begin again in being thankful for such a preponderance of blessings.

When one is thanking, it is impossible to be complaining. Pretty soon, the first words uttered at daybreak are, "Father, thank You for a new day of life and for the night that has just passed." What a great way to start the day! It helps one get ready for all the blessings to come.


Ji Sun said...

A great reminder since one's day is filled with so much and it goes by so quickly it is easy to forget the little things.

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