Growing Gratitude

Lately I’ve been reading this discussion thread about daily gratitude.

It’s on a bodybuilding forum; so amongst the hardened personalities and the expected levels of discontent that inspires an individual to strive for more, it’s like a flower blossoming through cracked cement.

Despite watching the thread grow, its only been in the last few days that I’ve started to sprinkle my own thoughts; and it was only today that I realised why.

The ‘best’ things in life are the things we overlook while we’re looking for ‘better’

I got distracted by desire; fixated on fantasy; sold on a solution. I fell into the trap of living for duty and forgetting the beauty. Sure, I’ve got problems and  areas in my life that need improving; but for every battle lost, there is a blessing won. The purpose of expressing gratitude is to take the moment to allow ourselves to acknowledge and appreciate these blessings, thus truly experiencing them.

It sounds simple; but comparison is corrosive, and it’s eating away at our experiences.  This is what I referred to as being ‘sold on a solution’: the idea that happiness has to be hunted, as it lies hidden further ahead in the oasis of an ideal opportunity.

Just fill in this blank: I’ll be happy when……… You’ll realise that you said it before and you’re saying it again.

2,500 years ago, Buddha stated that our desires can be endless. In this day and age, we need a new word with more depth. I don’t want to blame social media, consumerism, or reality tv; I just want to be a happier person. I also don’t want to discount the value that desire and ambition has.

The solution?

Realise that as we are the authors of our lives, we are also the gardeners of our thoughts. It’s up to us to prune our pessimism and create conditions where our better feelings can flourish. Buddha also discussed the truth of impermanence: the opportunity to experience happiness is withering away as we do. So why delay? The willingness to wait is as pervasive as weeds.

It makes sense to me, but don’t be sold so easily. Practice this daily habit of harvesting happiness and maybe you’ll also find gratefulness in the few grains you’ve got.

Tags : gratitudehabitshappinesslifePhilosophy

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