Finding Gratitude: The True Key to Happiness
I talk about gratitude about 90% of the day. I live in gratitude everyday. I am grateful. For many of us, we just want to be happy. But what if I told you that's not what we should strive for? Happiness is a state of mind; its temporary. That means, I can be happy at the moment I receive a gift, then unhappy when I see it's not what I want. In those moments of self-pity, I lose sight of what's important...the fact that someone took the time to actually think of me. It was an act of connectedness ruined by the desire to have what I want instead of seeing the beauty of what it is. When you're grateful, you are able to see life in a new way; you become invested in remaining at peace and finding worth in the things and people you already have in your life. Gratitude means understanding you are abundant and all your needs are met.
Remaining in gratitude is something I had to find out the hard way. I was unhappy, and felt like the world was against me. Ever wake up and wonder how you got to "this" point? Welp, that was how I felt for an entire year. All I could see was lack, and what I didn't have. On top of that, things kept constantly changing and there was nothing I could do to change "it" because it was inevitable. When I started to feel like my unhappiness was filtering through other parts of my life, I began to write things down and list what I wanted. I mean I had nothing to lose so the thought of asking didn't scare me anymore. These are called affirmations. I affirmed changed would happen and I held on to the belief that they would -it just had to. Here's how it works: you have to want change -believe that it can happen- write it down any and everywhere for you to see the message -speak it into existence (literally say it out loud) -keep unwavering faith- acknowledge it has already happened. I won't lie to you this wasn't easy for me. Trying to change my mindset after 24 years seemed impossible, but I challenged myself each day to make a conscious decision to live better.
Here are some of the affirmations I used:
I am safe. I love and approve of myself. I trust life.
Money flows effortlessly into my life. I am financially flourishing -Thank you Universe!
I deserve to rejoice in life. I accept all the joy life has to offer.
Honestly, no matter what you're going through, you must find something to be grateful for. Start with the fact that you woke up this morning. And if that isn't sufficient enough maybe it's time to find out what is...I can assure you it's not just to exist. One book that comes to mind is A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralik. It's the real life events of a lawyer who couldn't see the value of living, until he decided to be an active participant in creating change. He wrote 365 Thank You notes to any and everyone he came in contact with to show his appreciation for their help. The thank you note project helped him change the perspective of his life by finding gratitude. Ironically, I have no idea where I found this book. I can't recall if it was found in the house or my car; I just know I found it at the perfect time. Usually, it would take me a few days to read such a short book, but it took me 8 months to finish it. I feel books like this challenge you to apply what you've learned to your life. It became less about finishing it, and more about how could I remain in gratitude. I challenge you to do the same.