Gratitude, Grateful and Thankful
By Byron Pulsifer, ©2007
How many times have you heard these words without really realizing that they directly relate to you? How many times have you moaned and complained that your life, work, or relationships are the pits?
How many times have you created your own stress? Like many, we often spend far too much time either externalizing the problems we think we have rather than appreciating what we do have.
You don't have to look around very far to notice that someone is less fortunate than you. It could be a family member, friend, colleague or neighbour. There isn't a day go by where our daily newspaper decries the misfortune of someone, or group of people. It doesn't mean either that these unfortunate people live in some distant land - they're here living in close proximity.
One of the saddest misfortunes that exists is to go about your daily life thinking that the world is against you - what I call "the poor me" syndrome. It could be a feeling that your relationships are in disarray, that you are suffering work related stress due to your treatment by co-workers. You may feel that you are the most unpopular employee in your department, or that your boss always picks on you.
Let's look, however, at the opposite side of the coin. Instead of lamenting about what you don't have, what you would like to be, or relationships you'd rather have, instead of increasing your stress levels, examine what you do have. If you lament about:
- your colleagues, what about all those people who are bed ridden and don't have the chance to be part of a group where there is social interaction or meaningful tasks to fill the day
- your relationships, what about those people who can't express themselves because of severe handicaps and don't have the opportunity to engage others in friendly conversations or invite them to a movie or out to dinner
- your work, what about those who have no employment, or who can't get a job because of poor education, or who are discriminated against because of their nationality, color, or religion, or
- your lack of expensive material possessions, what about those who have so little money that even putting food on the table eats up the majority of money, and where no new clothes for their children is the norm, or insect infested, tattered walls, broken faucets, or no privacy in their accommodations is a daily diet.
If you're reading this article you must have a computer, or access to a computer at a general library, or a friend who has a computer. If any of these means of accessing a computer pertains to you then you must have had the money to buy a computer, or you are able to freely travel to a library, or you have a friend that likes you enough to let you use their computer.
The point is simply this: express your gratitude to your friends
for being there (you may want to send
appreciation poems or you can
express your thankfulness using appreciation quotes).
Be grateful for what you have even though it may not be the best you want, be thankful for your freedom to change, to learn, to progress, to do more and have more by looking for solutions rather than only seeing problems.
Don't create stress for yourself by allowing everyday things to upset you. Reduce your stress by being thankful for what you have.
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