Why is it so easy to focus on the negative things that are happening in our life?
Why is it so easy to forget about all the good and all the blessings that we already have?
Some might say it is only natural because we constantly seek happiness, health and financial security for ourselves for our loved ones. Others might say it is easier to focus on what we want to change in our lives than what we already have.
I am certain there are many reasons why, but when we focus on the negative, it becomes difficult to experience the joy of what we already have. Those of us living with a disability or some other hardship can find ourselves in a rut if negative thoughts wedge their way into our lives.
Fortunately, there are holidays like Thanksgiving that have a tendency to redirect our thoughts, at least for the moment. Children and grandchildren are even a greater way to redirect our thoughts.
A guided thankfulness meditation I listened to yesterday morning asked five questions to help focus my thoughts on being more grateful. I enjoyed the meditation so much that I felt compelled to write about the topic of gratitude. So, todays post is the first of three and it will address the first question.
1. What do I take for granted?
There are several basic examples given including being alive, my breathing, my heart beating, the air that I breathe and water I drink, my sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. And, instead of just asking about the senses, I was asked to consider what each sense does for me personally. For example, I was asked to:
a. Feel the hug of a grandchild or the lips of a loved one,
b. Remember how I felt the first time I heard my child’s voice,
c. Think of a smell that brings wonderful memories. I thought of my mother’s baked bread just as it is pulled out of the oven,
d. Close my eyes and taste a special food that my wife or mother makes better than anyone else does. I thought of goulash.
e. Envision a sunrise on the beach, or in the mountains that took my breath away.
Other things we often take for granted include the food we eat, the roof over our head, having heat in the winter, or perhaps even our health.
Also, how about our ability to love, empathize, learn, and teach? And let us not forget about our sixth sense–intuition, the ‘gut feeling’ we experience occasionally. We often ignore it, but it is usually right.
When we no longer take things for granted (no matter how simple or basic the gift), we experience life differently and we are rewarded with a sense of peace, wonder, amazement and gratitude.
My question for you today is, “What do you take for granted?”