It seems like an apt time of year to ponder gratitude.
True thankfulness is exceedingly rare in today’s entitled “gimmie, gimme NOW” world.
I find it so ironic that in an era where many have more material and physical abundance than perhaps ever before in all of history, it’s much more common to encounter people thinking they need more than to meet those who appreciate all they’ve got.
And since this blog is for the ladies, I will focus on this from the female perspective from here. (Perhaps a male blogger can tackle a version of this topic for the guys.)
For women, who have for decades been raised to believe there are no limits, they can be or do anything they want to be, that they deserve it all, and that they don’t just deserve it they are OWED it, contentment and gratitude can be viewed as negative, limiting, and outdated.
However I would argue it’s only those rare women who cultivate a true gratitude attitude that ever find the seemingly-ever-elusive happiness, fulfillment, balance, peace, and abundance so many desperately seek.
The answer ironically isn’t having more, it’s not just being OK with — but actually being thankful for — less.
Now before you think I am advising gals need to aim low or give up, give me a chance to explain.
Contentment and gratitude for what *is* truly is the secret to ever having enough. Because everything is relative.
For example, for some people an 800 square foot house is “small.” For others a 2,500 square foot house is “small.” Any house could be viewed as too small, too big, or just right based on one’s perception.
I once read a book by a woman who suddenly realized one day that the problem wasn’t that’s her house was too small, it was her attitude toward it that was. Rather than being thankful for and loving the house she had, she resented it for everything it was not, and spent many disgruntled hours wishing to live anywhere but there.
After that “ah ha moment,” she embarked on a year-long quest to love her home with all she had. She lovingly took stock and then went to work making it as beautiful, comfortable, welcoming, and cozy as it could possibly be.
Soon others began to notice her modest little house. Editors from home and garden magazines that she used to read with envy started calling her, asking to feature her home! Then offering her a regular column! Then encouraging her to write books about how she had created her lovely abode.
That’s the difference gratitude makes. It was the same house. She was the same person. All that had changed was rather than wishing for something else she embraced what she had and poured her heart and soul into loving it just as it was while doing all she could to make it all it could be with the resources she had.
In the end embracing gratitude led to so much more than not doing so ever did. She wasn’t settling. Or aiming low. Or giving up. Or getting less.
In fact had she stayed on the path of wanting more, she would likely still be stuck right there, bitterly hating her little house, wishing for something else, thinking, “if only…”
Instead she was loving her house, living a life beyond her wildest dreams, and embracing the ever growing abundance with a humble and thankful heart.
If you find yourself often thinking about what you wish you had, were, missed, or should be, try looking at what you have right now with gratitude, knowing it’s enough, being thankful for exactly what you’ve got, making the most of it, and embracing the blessings that have been right there all along. At home, at work, at play, and in love.
Happy Thanksgiving! May it be a blessed one.
What do you think? Please share in the comments!