Being grateful for the things in your life is such an important state of being. I have friends who approach me while I’m writing or working to talk about their lives. I don’t mind the interruption, I am always interested in the lives of those I love. But when their discussions turn out to be complaints about issues they face, or events that have created drama in their lives, when they have come to a pause in their sharing, I try to gently ask in multiple ways, “What is good in your life? What are you happy about? What, amidst all the drama, are you grateful for?”
The answer can be as simple as breath. Food in the fridge. A roof over the head. The ability to walk, to talk, to think and to be alive in the world today. The majority of the people in the world who have ever lived are dead today and each breath we take is a gift, a blessing. There is so much to be grateful for, even as we try to deal with the issues in our lives that seem so dramatic and traumatic and that threaten to consume our thoughts and time.
It is easy to perceive yourself as a victim of circumstance, when external events collude in disturbing your peace and creating complications in your life. Understanding that the issues we deal with are generally issues we create through our actions and inactions, and that the choice in their interpretation is ours, places the issues directly on the front burner of the remediation stove and we can realize, if we are self-aware enough, that how we perceive our situation is the determining factor in whether or not we are able to find the good in situations and turn them instead to our advantage, rather than our disadvantage.
Gratitude is the lens through which clarity is achieved. Perception determines the state of reality and we are each in control of our perceptions, to greater or lesser degrees. No matter how hopeless a situation seems, if you are able to find the common denominator, that which connects you to the greater thread of human life and experience and hold that as a base level of interconnection, it is possible to find peace, to be grateful for our blessings, and even, our curses.