Living in Gratitude

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The most difficult thing I’ve had to overcome was probably going through a divorce. I grew up wanting a big family and wanting to be married. In my early 30s, I thought I found the right person – we had a lot in common and had fun together. I figured I knew him; however, he changed after we were married. It quickly morphed into an “I own you now” type relationship. In the two years we were married, things deteriorated from difficult to more difficult; it was a perfect storm. I’ve always been a planner and played by the rules, but my marriage was out of control, and I couldn’t fix it. In the end, he walked away even though I wanted to work on it. I guess at that point I still believed we had a future together. I was depressed after the divorce and so embarrassed, I felt duped. How could I have been such a sucker? The feeling of failure was overwhelming.

During that period, I learned to rely on my faith, to let go and let God. He has a plan, and I had to get on the right path. I changed my work, my friends and where I lived. I also changed my philosophy on life. I read a book on positivity and gratitude and decided to do the things the book laid out. What that looked like for me was consciously choosing to focus on the things I am grateful for and made me happy. I would begin the day with being thankful that I woke up, then thankful for my slippers, and so on, and so on. For sure, it felt silly in the beginning. I laughed at myself; it seemed like a “fake it until you make it” strategy but it worked. When you operate in a mindset of gratitude, it’s as if you are always praying; it’s almost impossible not to feel uplifted. Now when something bad happens, I come out of it faster. My mind seeks to find what I am grateful for in the situation. For example, my engine still starts, I have a warm car, etc. There is always something to be grateful for when you decide to look.

How you think is a behavior, and you can change it – start small and keep trying.

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