Gratitude. How often do you show or feel gratitude for someone or something someone does for you? It is so easy to just “gloss over” something good happening because most people are busy and living in their own little worlds. However, when things get bad and you can’t find something to give you hope, you will be grasping for things to remind you of God’s goodness. Here is where a practice of gratitude can come in. Where do you start?
For me, it started with regular journaling. I endeavor to journal each day. I start with five things I am grateful for from the day before (I journal in the mornings). Some days it is easier than others, but it also aids me in noticing those things to be thankful for. It could be as simple as the sun coming out after a week of rain or as big as a financial need being covered unexpectedly. The purpose is to notice those small or large things that bring a smile to my face or a sense of contentment or thankfulness. You will be amazed at what you notice when you begin making it a practice.
Regular Quiet Time
For me, life is busy and the noise, oh the noise (in my best Grinch imitation) is continuous. It is hard to step back and be still. Being quiet is something that must be cultivated and practiced. Whether you do it through meditation or through a time of prayer, it can give you the opportunity to notice those things you should feel more grateful for. I try to spend some time every day just sitting or lying in the silence. My phone is off and no TV or radio is going. It is a magical time when I can meditate on my day and find those small bits of interwoven goodness.
Finding Your Own Inner Peace
Many people have no idea what makes them happy or makes them feel contentment inside. If you can’t tap into that part of you, it can be difficult to feel peaceful or grateful. For me, time with my family and time spent meditating, praying, or reading can give me peace, but if things are chaotic, loud, and out of control, I cannot lean into peace and contentment. I can deal with it, but I have to come back to the place of inner peace in my soul.