02 March 2014

Gratitude

This post is in response to a DungeonPrompt. This weeks prompt is:  GRATITUDE

“We respect nothing until we are grateful, until we take nothing for granted.  There may be no quality which causes as quick a transformation from sorrow to joy, from depression to elation, from dejected futility to awakened usefulness than overflowing gratitude.”
- Aadil Palkhivala
I have often wondered why people felt that there was such a strong impact on their happiness from gratitude. Every since I was kid I have thought I was grateful. Every year at Thanksgiving I had no trouble listing off a bunch of things I was grateful for. I could at any moment tell you something I was grateful for. And in genuine fashion I thought of myself as a person who did not take things for granted. I felt I was great at gratitude.

However, I never found the serenity I was seeking no matter how many times I said the serenity prayer. I was always caught up in the anticipation of problems. It could be said I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

My mistake was that I thought gratitude was only about the past. I thought of it as framing up the past in a positive light. Finding the silver lining. Recognizing the value of others. Being grateful for what others did for me. I didn't realize how habitually and automatically I made assumptions that made it impossible for me to feel true gratitude.

The greatest assumption I was unaware I was making was to assume I wasn't good enough or worthy enough to be loved without earning it. In that frame of mind I could have no true gratitude because in the end I framed everything as a transaction. One where I paid and earned the love.

I have began over the last ten or eleven years to realize that I have very little gratitude towards myself. I have lived so long with the other shoe is going to drop that I have a tough time being in the moment grateful for everything around me. In the last three years I have began to see how habitual and automatic my subconscious has been in framing up the world to perpetuate my fear.

Now I am framing up the world differently. I am working to let go my fear of problems and be grateful for everything that comes but most especially to be grateful for all the love I am shown.

For me gratitude is about not fearing the future and about exploring life as a grand discovery. What will come next? I will strive to welcome it with my eyes wide open, arms spread wide, and with great joy. As I'm sure it will be amazing and helpful.

I am grateful for each moment in my life.

I am grateful for the opportunity to work on this post. Thanks Karuna for this Prompt.





4 comments:

  1. I am quite the framer myself! Never really looked at it this way though I was aware of what was going on and how it was affecting me. Nice that you could figure out what real gratitude is. I tend to feel real gratitude only after or during traumatic events... but certainly don't need those to be always going on.

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  2. Thanks so much for participating in the prompt Dave. I appreciate hearing all of your insights and know you will have given others food for thought as well. I especially love to hear you say “I will strive to welcome it [life] with my eyes wide open, arms spread wide, and with great joy.”

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  3. What a great way of looking at life. We do tend to be grateful for things outside of ourselves...I like this, makes me think a bit of being thankful not only for today but for what I am, what I do, what I've been. The serenity prayer has always grounded me but I do have to repeat it a lot to know the difference of what is out of my control. Blessings, Oliana

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