How Can I Bring Myself to Be Grateful?
Have you ever shared this sentiment? Even when I know I should be grateful, many times I still find it difficult to bring myself to actually feel this way. Why is this? I should be grateful for life, I should be grateful for family, I should be grateful for every healthy breath I take... I know all this, I truly believe all this, and yet I usually feel strangely unimpressed by so many things I should have profound appreciation for. And yet those things which I should be grateful for everyday, every moment of my life, most of the time they just feel very commonplace to me. Does it have to be that I only feel grateful for things which, at one time or another, I’ve been forced to do without (ask a person with severe chronic asthma how much gratitude they have for each of their breaths). Is there any way to get passed the indifference of routine and actually feel as my heart would have me feel? Is there any way to bring myself to feel gratitude?
To answer this let us first examine where ingratitude comes from. When we become very used to something we tend to take whatever that something is for granted. We become cocky and locked into our presumptions about the things we believe we have all figured out, unwilling to be open to the consistency of change taking place within those very things we supposedly know everything about. We assume that just because change may be taking place exceedingly slowly, that this must mean that no change (at least any change of consequence) is taking place and that therefore means that we no longer have to bother with paying attention to it. So we stop being present and instead choose to view many things in life through the prism of our stagnant beliefs about them. This is the mental environment in which ingratitude is fostered. The solution to how to break out of this dull, languorous, gratitude stymieing perception is quite simple. You must begin again to actually think and be present about things you feel no gratitude for.
It is true of All life, when you look once at something it will be one way; look again (and I mean really look again) and it will be something new. In every single moment, every single thing is brand new again. Being present is about being attentive to these changes even when they are exceedingly subtle. And when you learn to appreciate the ceaseless evolution of the things in your life you will grow in your gratitude for the things in your life. No two sunrises are exactly the same. The people in your life are constantly evolving. Every breath you take has a unique rhythm all to its own. Sharpen your skill of tuning into these subtleties and you will know a richness in your life experience which is overflowing with gratitude. Take nothing for granted. Never assume you have anything all figured out because the thing you think you have all figured out, blink, and it’s something new.