Monday, November 24

The Importance of Gratitude

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
~ Melody Beattie ~

On Wednesday I will be going out of town for a few days with my family to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, and it got me to thinking about how important gratitude is for all of us. In fact, it's absolutely essential in order to be happy- at least in my experience. Feeling gratitude and expressing it has done wonders for me. It has helped to pull me out of some of the darkest times of my life; the simple act of sitting down to write a list of what I am thankful for has shifted my perception completely over and over again.
Over the weekend I saw a friend of mine, and I was telling about how I have felt improvement in my physical condition. Then I went on to complain that I had gone on a walk and by the end of it I lost all of my steam and was very tired. I told him that I was disappointed in the way my body was holding up and he replied that at least I was doing better, and I had been able to do more than I had in the recent past. The conversation continued on in this fashion- I would gripe about something and he would throw it right back at me with a positive. He finally stopped me cold when he said that there is so much to be grateful for in all of our lives, and until we are able to see that and embrace all that we have, we can never be happy. He calls himself a glass half full person (who formerly was the opposite) and shared that it has brought him more contentment and joy than all of the years he spent feeling like he didn't have enough combined.
I have to say that I totally agree. No matter how badly I have felt physically or emotionally, I have always been taken care of. There has always been a better day around the corner, and I have always had things in my life to be grateful for. They say that what you give attention to increases, so why not make the good things in your life multiply, instead of creating more grief and frustration? I whole heartily recommend making a gratitude list everyday and letting it remind you of just how blessed you are. Even if you can't see it at that moment, the more you do it, the better you will feel.
I wish you all a peaceful and wonderful Thanksgiving, and remember to take a look around you and let in all of the things that you have to be thankful for!


  1. I was glad to find your blog. I suffer from CFS and Epstein Barr so I appreciate your frustration. It's wonderful to hear about someone else who keeps trying and views the glass as "half full". Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well- I am glad that you found my blog too- those of us who are doing what we can to move forward, despite being ill, need to stick together!

  3. I agree a 100%. Thanks for writing this. Most people don't seem to be grateful enough. When I was a child I did an exercise where I wrote down things I was fortunate to have. This does work. Now, I am aware, every day, of the good side of things. Every event in life has a good side, even seemingly bad things have a good thing to take away. you just have to look. Usually there's always something good in your life, and usually things could be worse than they are; this alone is a thing to be grateful for. We take so many things for granted :)

  4. In these days of layoffs, downsizing, and fear gratitude is one thing that sure goes a long way. Managers, team leaders and CEOs ought to read this article and give a little more gratitude to their employees.

  5. I couldn't agree more- it would certainly be a change in the right direction if Corporate America actually began to value and appreciate their employees, instead of treating them like they are just a number and don't matter (except how they affect the bottom line!).

  6. Gratitude is an essential ingredient to happiness. Sometimes, when you're dealing with a chronic illness, it's easy to lose sight of the things in life for which we should be grateful. Thanks for sharing!