“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for our today, and creates a vision for our tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
It’s been said that the simple things in life count the most. A small gesture of appreciation, a random act of kindness or a child-like response during an intense conversation. These are just snapshots of the type of things that can ease tensions, cause someone to smile or forget about the harshness of their life, even if only for a moment. The ability to see past what seems overly complicated, impossible or just simply hard is a gift in my opinion that many do not carry. So when we encounter someone with this gift, we tend to inadvertently gravitate towards them.
No one tends to like someone with a Scrooge disposition, or one that more often than not, views life with the glass half empty. They effectively disappoint and fail to lead us to our envisioned promise lands. So we move on to what feels better, to those who foster hope, to those who encourage us and to those who tend bring forth life. A life that desires to press past the countless difficulties designed to stop us in our tracks. A life that recognizes that there is more to us than what we’re experiencing right now. A life that has believes in “hoping for the best”, and recognizes there will be another opportunity, despite what people may say.
These ideas or precepts may seem easy to grasp, common to the mind or of second nature, but they certainly are not. If it were that easy to simply put our minds to it, we would all carry it out and administer it at will, but unfortunately we do not. We shrug, we get defensive, we hide, we make excuses and we usually act out when we find ourselves in this position. It’s not because we’re bad people, we simply have not mastered the art and secret of being grateful.
Being grateful is another way of being thankful or appreciative in our current state. This very definition is in stark contrast with most of our current world views. If we don’t get our way right now, or something does not work according to our expectations, we are supposed to get upset and begin assigning blame to someone, and quickly.
However, gratitude is recognizing the positive in even the darkest of times or situations. There truly is a silver lining in every circumstance. Sometimes that silver lining will take years to recognize or appreciate, but those that carry this attitude understand that somehow, even in the worst situations, things will work out for the best. And they also realize the “best” does not always mean that “we” win, at least initially. It is more than winning right now, but recognizing deferred success does not equate with failure.
It’s all in the attitude we carry. The choice to allow life to happen, and being willing to learn from it versus control it, takes courage and an understanding that there is really a tomorrow. A tomorrow that can hold a better future, filled with new opportunities, second chances and redemption.
So if the keys are in your hands, what will you do with them. You can choose to retaliate or get even with someone that allegedly stole your dream, or forgive and trust that what is destined to be yours will be yours, without manipulation or coercion. Perhaps not today, but today’s denial does not negate tomorrow’s success.