A Gratitude Reflex

A quote that has always befuddled me is “be grateful for what you have today, one  day will be all you ever wanted” I didn’t understand this. But lately I understand it more.

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I realised this when I was reading back journals and I remembered what 14 year old me dreamed about, what 13/14 year old me wanted for her life in 3 years time. And I’d love to tell you it was something profound, or insightful. Truth was I wanted to be like my cousin, who I saw breeze in from work and eat cereal with me in front of the TV in the evening before getting dressed up to go out. I thought the idea of cereal in the evening was so grownup because it was like breaking the rules. I figured when I was older I’d learn to drive and get a job and go to a-levels, the specifics didn’t really matter to me back then. Because in the moment that’s all that matter…… if we all think back the life that we have right now, each of us, a few years ago was probably all we ever dreamed about, all we ever aimed for. Yet somehow in the busyness of life we forgot that, we forged new dreams and carved out new aims for our lives and those past dreams got lost along the ways. But it means that I am taking the life I have right now for granted, because once it was all I ever wanted, though I can expect I have bigger expectations now I can also appreciate I got what I wanted.

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And it’s ok

To have new dreams, in fact its necessary to keep us moving through life, our aims as a 12 year old undoubtedly differ to those we have as adults.

But sometimes we need to remember what we wanted back then, and look at what we have now and say actually back then this is all I ever wanted I can be thankful for that as well as expectant for bigger and greater things.

What if you woke up today with only the things you were thankful for yesterday?

Well then….most of us would be paupers, if we were to be honest with ourselves. We spend so much time thinking about what we need, what we’re lacking in, that we forget to actually look at what we’re thankful for. For all we have.

 This is not something I’ve achieved, I do not write to you from a high horse of any sort, I merely write this admitting a weakness of mine, saying I am a work in progress. I know that I need a little more gratitude in my life.

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When we said goodbye to Andy it was easier for everyone to see the grey in the day not the silver lining to those rain clouds. Debbie spoke to me and said she had a chart and on it she would write down ten things she was grateful for each day. I was amazed that in her grieving and pain she had come to the conclusion to force thankfulness because she knew after a while being thankful would become a habit, no longer forced but a reflex. After a few day of having to find things to be thankful for you brain starts to see the good started to instinctively see the good in your day.

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A gratitude reflex…that is what I’m aiming for. So that I focus on what I have rather that what I am lacking in.

One thought on “A Gratitude Reflex

  1. The strength found in the profound loss and despair is inspiring. Puts a lot of thigs into perspective, and I am going to start my “grateful” list today. Thank you

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