I recently read a commentary in my local newspaper about how to be happier.
She basically said what we all know is true and that is "focus on the positives" and be thankful for the good things in your life.
The examples she gave were more than your usual "look on the bright side" chants we have heard our whole lives. They were hard examples, jobs lost, homes lost, etc.
As someone who can get caught up in the mundane activities of my life and wallow in what I am missing, I thought it really great advice. Also, my husband and I are trying to raise our kids to be thankful instead of wishful.
We, like all Americans, have been affected by the economy. We have felt the loss of people close to us and have made sacrifices that we did not think we would have to make.
However, if we look around, we have a lot. I used to write down five things that I was grateful for every night in a journal. I think Oprah told me to do it. I got out of that habit somehow. After reading that article and pondering it's benefits for a few weeks, I have decided to go back to that practice of lifting myself.
Grateful has many synonyms. Thankful, satisfied, gratified, relieved and overwhelmed are a few that I feel convey the spectrum of how I feel when I take a moment to think about what I am truly "grateful".
Gratitude Tuesdays is not going to start any cutesy trends...but here goes.
PS One of my very favorite Bible verses
(and one that has stuck with me years after I competed in the Bible Bowl)
is about dwelling on the positive...
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."-Philippians 4:8
|Me, thinking of all the positives in my life|
- My car runs, heats, cools and has room for all my kids and their stuff
- I have a sense of humor that carries me through
- A little dog follows me around the house, making me miss the one who followed my everywhere for 12 years. I experienced a great love affair with a biased soul
- My husband comes home every night. Every. Single. Night. To. Me.
- I have 23 pairs of socks to choose from. Most of them are really cool
- I can read, write and speak
- My heart is full of love for and from my family
- My sisters are my rocks
- If a tree fell on my house, a fire wiped it of the face of the earth, as long as my family and animals were out, there is not a thing I would miss.
- I have friends who carry me with their listening ears, warm me with their laughing smiles and confide in me with their secrets
- I have red beans cooking in the crockpot for dinner
- I have long hair (it is the little things!)