If stress is the biggest killer, (and, it is!), then gratitude is the biggest cure. But, it’s not just about saying thank you for all the great things in life… it’s about shifting our perspective enough to be grateful for all of the stuff we would never have asked to happen to us… not even if you paid us!
Gratitude For What?
Yes, that’s right… Being grateful for the stuff that hurts is a really healthy way of living our lives. But why?
The Meaning Of Life
We are here to self realise.
That means giving voice and form to that which we are.
This means we have to…
Bring forth what is within us so it may save us.
But why is that important…?
Because, if we don’t bring forth what is within us, it will destroy us.
What’s Gratitude Got To Do With It?
Humans don’t like change. We would carry on grinding away, in some deep rut, rather than mix things up a little to figure out a new thing about ourselves. But, in order to be and deliver everything we are, out in the world, we need a series of life challenges to do it.
Life Is On Our Side
Does anybody know a person who is immersed in victim mentality? (Is it you…?) … I’ll let you into a secret… I’ve been known, on occasion, to indulge in a spot of victimhood. But! What a waste of time that is!
Because, in order for us to be jolted out of that rut we need to face a bunch of challenges that will force us to make all of the decisions that will reveal who we really are!
I’m Grateful For Ken Campbell
I was lucky enough to know, and be friends with, Ken Campbell, the actor, comedian and presenter. One day, after going for lunch, we were walking down a street, when he stopped in his tracks and faced me.
What determines depth of character?
He demanded to know…
I just looked at him blankly.
But, desperate to answer his question I began to wrack my empty brains until I finally shook my head and confessed I didn’t have the first idea.
He blasted at me, more that a little exasperated.
Decisions determine depth of character!
He balled. (He wasn’t one for being softly spoken!)
How elegant! Of course they do! Without decisions we are nothing!
All of life is choice… that’s why it’s on our side!
But not only that… Life has a tendency to deliver up the kind of experience needed for us to make the decisions that are most needed for our growth… That’s how much life is on our side!
Grateful Is As Grateful Does
I don’t know what I’m going to write in this section, because that heading just popped into my head… and then my head stopped popping.
I thought by the time I’d cluncked the heading out on the keyboard, the rest of the idea would just follow… but it hasn’t.
The only thing that’s occurred to me since the paragraph title is that it sounds like something that Forrest Gump would say…
Now, that was a wonderful film wasn’t it!?! I just loved how seemingly unimportant instances led to amazing outcomes. Everything from the child’s shackled legs whilst dancing inspiring The King to do the hitherto unseen dancing on stage, to the smiley T-shirts…
And, of course, that’s just how it works… Inspiration, accidents, coincidences… it’s just life being on our side so that we can be all the things that we are.
Being Grateful For It All
But life doesn’t just dole out the good stuff. It doles out a good amount of pain and heartache.
And, it’s learning to be grateful for the shitty bits, as well as for the easy rides that is the secret to a long, happy and fulfilling life.
My Gratitude For My Pain
I’ve been going through a lot of letting go recently.
I have been painfully bad at letting go since childhood… So, it’s no small wonder that life has been providing me with plenty of painful opportunities to do just that.
I know, in letting go, I allow the space in my life for more healthy people and rewarding things to start circulating in my orbit…
Now, I’m not saying it’s not been painful, because it has, but, I’ve somehow managed to figure out how to be grateful for most of the losses and flies in my ointment for a while now…
And, there’s no doubt I’m healthier and further down the road towards my truth than I would have been if I’d stalled, resisted and lost my shit all over the place.
Being Grateful Heals
Gratitude can heal our lives and it can heal us.
A poem by the beautiful, everlasting Mary Oliver…
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.