Gratitude. It’s not just for when you get a raise or a nod of appreciation from your boss or client. It’s an everyday state of being.
But, it’s not always easy.
There are some myths around gratitude that make it seem more like it’s a state of being happy all the time for everything even when a loved one dies. This is simply not true so before you throw a book at me and call me a “Pollyanna,” let’s talk about the myths around gratitude.
Being in a state of gratitude doesn’t mean that you won’t still get angry. On the other side of the spectrum, it also doesn’t mean that you will feel euphorically happy all the time.
What it does mean is that you feel thankful for what is in your life right now. Gratitude helps us tap into emotions that take us away from worry. It also helps us feel okay with not being okay about whatever issue is going on right now.
Noticing the Need for Change
When there’s a certain area of God’s ways that I need to be reminded of, it appears nearly everywhere. This is called synchronicity. It helps you know that you’re on the right path.
This entire month has been a month where I’ve noticed the need to change my attitude to gratitude. A little backstory on me is that I’ve had a strong willed attitude for years and had to work on it and work on it to keep my mind from criticism.
Starting the Gratitude Journal
I started to keep a gratitude journal after my Spiritual Coaching teacher, Kimberly Pettiford, suggested to do so.
I’d start off by writing: I’m grateful and thankful for….
Then I’d make the list for the day or evening when I had set aside some time to do it.
At first I wrote about my girls being healthy, my car still running, the house we live in, and all the good things in my life. So once I realized this was becoming repetitive, I stopped writing, confused by why I had to write the same things over and over again.
What sense did that make?
So then God, in His usual fashion, decided to give me further instructions. He told me through another teacher that I was to write about things that I wanted changed. To write it down as if these things were already in my life and I was grateful for them.
I had been wondering how manifestation worked for awhile. Seeing as how I didn’t have that Mercedes-Benz I had always wanted yet, I thought this was worth a try.
So I started saying how grateful I was for things that weren’t going my way. What I noticed immediately was that I felt better. I let the problem go.
When before, in typical scientist/writer fashion, I’d want to analyze every nook and cranny out of the issue until I found a solution.
Instead, I let go.
After a week of giving thanks for problems, I started to wonder if this really worked. Okay, I let go of them, but I still didn’t get my breakthrough.
Taking It Deeper
Then, again, God brought yet another teacher into my life. At the prompting of my friend and coaching peer, Mai Vu, I joined her in reading Make Miracles In Forty Days.
In her book, Melody Beattie, explains that you don’t gloss over the feeling you feel. You honor your feelings around the issue and write them down, expressing gratitude for what comes up.
Where this gratitude is profound is that it doesn’t try to change people around you. It focuses on acknowledging the frustration, anger, resentment, or whatever you’re feeling and letting God perform the miracle.
One instance where I believe gratitude had a hand in bringing ease into my life was with a camper I had bought several months ago. I paid $2000.00 for it and it had enough room for everyone so we could go camping and stay in it comfortably.
As soon as it rained, there were leaks. The guy who I had bought it from failed to mention that part. Covered with a tarp, the camper sat for months. Summer rolled around and it was time to sell it for hunters that may park it and use it to sleep in.
I didn’t know how this was going to work out. I had a friend list it with all the details about the leak. Several months went by. I was reminded about gratitude and decided to add this and envisioning the camper sold to my daily routine.
It took two weeks of prayer, envisioning, and gratitude until the right person came to buy it. My friend fielded the calls for me and we had some false starts. Then one gentleman called, came and looked at it, and bought it just like that… and for the same price I paid for it.
With faith, trust, envisioning, and gratitude, things work out. It starts with changing your attitude. What do you think?